Developing the PRISM Approach

What is PRISM in action?

Programming, Robotics, Imagination, Science and Mathematics is Dublin’s unique way of forging connections between disciplines and classes for rich learning. It deepens the learning experience for students and furthers the goals of individual courses at the same time. What does it look like in action?

Here is one example. This fall, students in Engineering Design are designing and building a boat which will collect water samples in a near-by pond and take pictures of the pond and its resident beavers. As teacher Mr. Cox says, “For the Engineering Class, they must figure out what information is important to measure, what sensors to put on the boat to measure those things, and design the physical boat itself so that it can be sailed on even the shallowest parts of the pond (only a few inches deep).” The water samples will provide data for the Biology classes. The beaver pictures will enhance observation of the pond in the wild as well.

Another student, Aidan Ferguson ’16, is learning to program for the different tasks the boat will complete, refining his command of C## and designing a complex system.  “The three components are a base station which communicates wirelessly to the RaspberryPi on board the Boat, which in turn has a serial connection to the Arduino to interface with motors and sensors.”

The classes are theoretical and hands-on, involve imagination and modeling, allow the students to learn collaboration skills, and function as citizen scientists. This is one example of the kinds of engaging and interdisciplinary work that PRISM will foster.