The Latin motto of the Kwok Engineering Center is “Concidite Praeclare,” which translates to “Fail Gloriously!” At St. Paul’s School, students are engaged in project-based, individual-learning STEM curriculum that prepares them for the world’s leading engineering programs. They learn how to test problem solutions, and reflect on successes and glitches before building a revised solution.
What began in 1999 as a robotics section in an Artificial Intelligence course has grown into a comprehensive, hands-on program focused on two principle concepts: individual- and group-learning, and self-reflection and analysis.
The engineering program comprises three tiers of instruction: Engineering Core, Computer Science, and Engineering Honors.
Engineering Core involves a three-course sequence that students may opt to take more than once. Each time, students are challenged to take on more complicated projects and mentor new students. Engineering Core includes the following classes:
- Introduction to Engineering, Fall Term: Students are introduced to Engineering Design through three major projects: Building, designing, and modeling a wooden-block game in CAD software, and printed on our 3D printers; work as a group to design, build, and program a VEX Robot for the annual VEX Challenge; and design and build a UAV to compete in an underwater obstacle course in the pool at the Athletic & Fitness Center.
- FIRST Robotics Competition, Winter Term: Unlike other schools competing in FIRST Robotics, St. Paul’s School students take this robot-building challenge as a class. Considered the ultimate engineering design exercise, students are mentored and instructed by professional engineers as well as SPS Science faculty. The course also requires students to write a final journal about the competition, analyzing the different designs used to solve the competition’s problems.
- Engineering Projects, Spring Term: Students propose their own engineering design projects and work on them during the term.
The Computer Science curriculum offers multiple courses that allows students to delve into coding languages and build applications. Among those offerings is a three-term sequence for Artificial Intelligence. In AI students investigate the discipline and the big questions of artificial intelligence, such as whether computers will ever exhibit intelligence or consciousness.
The Engineering Honors program is a new sequence of courses surrounding a summer engineering laboratory internship.
The Lindsay Center for Mathematics and Science is home to 14 science labs, 21 classrooms, two lounge/study rooms, and faculty offices. The building’s design incorporates dedicated classrooms and labs for all courses, configured to foster innovation and collaboration. As the heart of the SPS Maker Community, the Kwok Engineering Center offers not only a machine shop, wood shop, paint shop, 3D-print & CAD resources, and a significant robotics-construction inventory, but a community devoted to a collaborative approach to the creative design process.