Page 8 - FIS World June 2021
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A New Space to Create
At FISW, the stage is set for design and innovation
 After 18 months of watching the landscape change in Naroud, students and faculty are celebrating the final touches of the FIS Wiesbaden campus renovation project. Major campus improvements have included construction of the ACE (Arts, Creativity and Education) Center and accompanying outdoor learning spaces, as well as a brand new Library Media Center.
Juggling Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions for more than a year presented a few hurdles, such as construction delays and school or grade-level closures. However, an expansive stage is now well set for innovation and design – both inside and outdoors – for the nearly 200 students from First Steps to Grade 8 at FISW.
Recently opened, the ACE Center, a three-story 2,260-square-meter facility, provides ample space for increased exploration in the creative arts, including design technology, theater, art and music, with a Black Box theater, practice rooms, DT lab, and art studio. As part of the campus improvements, the Library Media Center opened in September 2020 in the existing building, more than doubling its previous footprint to include a “green screen room” for filming and recording, a "tech deck" counter for IT support, and "flex room" for students and professional learning and collaboration. Overall, the size of the campus has expanded by 40 percent.
“The FISW campus, including the outdoor spaces, now allows more access to flexible integrated spaces,” said Dr. Michael Johnston, Assistant Head of School.“What we mean by that is when a student is doing something product or digital design oriented – whether it’s music,
art, or coding – they now have access to facilities in the same spaces to do that work.”
At the end of the day,
this is not a new way of education. It is continuing with the rock solid foundations of learning,
Of course, with these new spaces are additional tools to help students innovate. The top floor of the ACE Center has its first 3D printer, with more on the way. The kiln in the art area is next to the Design Technology (DT) lab, which contains a wide variety of tools. And, these areas are adjacent to a long hallway that Dr. Johnston envisions as a perfect place for robotics. Across the newly renovated outdoor learning area, the Library Media Center is home to a green screen room where students have the tools to produce media.
“We are able to take student learning so much further with these new spaces and equipment. They are not just learning about science. Now they have a chance to be scientists and engineers,”Dr. Johnston remarked.
Despite the year-long construction, the pedagogy transition for the campus started taking shape when the 2020/2021 school year began. Donny Hansen, FISW’s Outdoor and Sustainability / Innovation and Design Coordinator, began working regularly with teachers and attending Unit of Inquiry planning
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