Innovation and Design Hub
AIM's Innovation Hub prepares students to be skilled problem solvers, think creatively, and work in a team. Bringing classes on robotics, coding, engineering, and design thinking the Innovation Hub opens students to a myriad of possibilities and practical career path-focused options to explore their passions.
AIM’s approach to teaching children with language-based learning differences requires that it incorporate and coordinate instruction so that math, science, arts, and history classes follow the same literacy practices as the core reading curriculum. The same is true of AIM’s approach to technology instruction. Technology, from Makerspace to Robotics, is not just a pull-out. The concepts taught in these classes must coordinate closely with other subjects to ensure reinforcement and consistency.
Technology and high-speed wireless access are placed directly in each and every classroom for immediate and flexible use. Several different platforms and devices are utilized whenever deemed necessary and useful, providing a diverse and versatile learning environment for our students. From Apple iPads for 1st-4th graders and our one-to-one Apple laptop program for 5th-12th graders, technology is a part of everyday life for AIM students.
Each Lower School student has access to an iPad to utilize in a variety of ways during a given day. A core suite of creative apps is deployed to each device in order to foster individual expression, collaboration, and student reflection. These digital tools include Book Creator, Drawing Pad, CoSpaces, Hopscotch, FlipaClip, Blockly, Explain Everything, and iStopMotion.
Each Upper and Middle School student has a MacBook loaded with research-based software, which supports individual student needs. Additionally, our students use a variety of web-based programs such as Google Applications (Earth, Docs, Forms, Sites, Sketch-up, Scribe), CAST, CoSpaces, TinkerCad, OpenProcessing, Storybird, Glogster, Edmodo, Many Eyes, I-Flash, Geometer’s Sketchpad, Timeliner, Prezi, Scratch, Circut, Sumo Paint, GarageBand, Corel Draw, Tinkercad, Cura, and Diigo.
In addition to our 1:1 laptop program, teachers and students use SmartBoards throughout the Upper School to foster interactive and meaningful learning experiences across the curricular areas of reading, writing, math, science, and history. We also have a fully equipped graphics space in the Global Resource Center complete with iMacs loaded with full animation/graphics capabilities, Canon digital SLR cameras, Canon digital video cameras, large format printers, large format scanners, and a Mediascape (a six-person collaborative digital workstation).
AIM’s recent renovation of its Innovation Hub has created excellent spaces for Makerspace and Engineering, but a successful focus on technology requires additional and unique dedicated space. Over the next three years, AIM will complete construction of a two-story addition to the main campus building that will include spaces for robotics, coding, and science labs.
Our team of experienced educators supports our STEAM and technology curriculum for students as well as overseas programs including our FRC robotics team; new technology programs and lessons such as working with AIMA our new programmable robot, testing M.I.T. artificial intelligence curriculum, and expanding our student's opportunities to serve and teach others via our Mobile STEAM lab.
Aaron Brill, Director of Innovation Technology
Aaron graduated from Trinity College in May of 2003 with a B.A. in Philosophy and from the University of San Francisco in May of 2009 with an M.A. from their Digital Media and Learning program. During his time in San Francisco, Aaron worked at a variety of schools holding a wide range of roles. Following his graduate work, Aaron focused his energy on educational technology and for the past four years was the Director of Technology Integration and Engineering Thinking at Town School for Boys.
Katherine (Kate) Gregory, Lower School Makerspace
Kate is an educator who is passionate about combining tinkering and education. With an undergraduate background in studio art, Kate specializes in Maker Education with a degree in Learning Sciences & Technologies from Penn GSE. She’s thrilled to bring her research background on blending crafting, coding, and creativity for STEAM learning into the classroom at AIM Academy.
Kathy Brandon, Middle School STEAM
Kathy has transformed the Middle School STEAM curriculum at AIM since her arrival in 2018 and is the creator of Sylvia's STEAM Dream Mobile lab which provides STEAM learning to students at schools throughout Philadelphia. With 27 years of experience as an educator and a Masters in Education, Kathy's Design thinking classes focus on solving real world problems through creativity and empathy.
Kyle DiTieri, Upper School STEAM & FRC Robotics Coach
Kyle is an educator and tech enthusiast who has been teaching STEM for over 10 years. He is works with AIM Upper School students in the Innovation Hub on design thinking, robotics and STEM and also serves as the new robotics coach. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys getting involved with the local maker and FIRST community and the fencing scene.