The emphasis on STEAM these days is unparalleled. For the uninitiated, that’s Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship or Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. So, which international school in Singapore is leading the pack? We’ll let Shinnosuke “Shin” Chuman, age 15, explain. A self-avowed STEAM enthusiast, he came to Singapore on a scholarship and had his pick of where to study.
Where are you from?
I’m Japanese but was born in London. I moved to Tokyo when I was one and lived there until I moved to Singapore last year.
Why did you come to Singapore to study?
When I was 14, I won a scholarship with the Masayoshi Son Foundation to study abroad. After visiting a lot of international schools in Singapore, I chose the Canadian International School.
Why did you choose CIS?
I chose CIS because of its STEAM programme. I liked the programme’s focus on supporting student creativity and passion. And, I liked the opportunities to collaborate with students from so many diverse backgrounds. The school also embraces new technology and teaches the way things are used in the real world, which makes understanding them much easier!
How did you find out about CIS’s STEAM programme?
I first learnt about it from the school’s website. When I visited and saw the the big STEAM sign on the 6th floor, with all the amazing equipment and tools, I was really happy. Everything they said on the website was real and not fake!
When did your interest in STEAM activities start?
When I was in Kindergarten I started attending Lego Mindstorm classes, which is software to develop programmable robots. My mum first sent me to regular Lego building classes, but after watching all the fun the older kids were having playing with Mindstorm, I convinced her to switch classes. I loved programming robots to perform certain actions. Since then, my passion for programming has continued to grow. In Grade 3, I attended classes to learn about iPhone app programming. I was always playing with the apps on my parents’ phones and wanting to create my own. The first app I created was a simple counting app. It was a really cool experience to create something that worked. After that, I took more coding classes and created more apps. I have an egg allergy, so in Grade 6, I created an app called Allergy to help those afflicted by food allergies. I won several awards for it.
How is CIS different from your last school?
There is nothing like CIS’s STEAM programme at my school back in Japan. To learn to code, I had to go to classes outside of school but at CIS there are opportunities on campus. Just recently we had an innovation and designer code camp, which was really fun. We also have lots of chances to engage in projects where we can take risks and experiment.
What have you done in the programme?
I recently created a logo representing Singapore for printing as a sticker or on different materials like a T-shirt. The process involved integrating and applying different STEAM skills like researching the meaning of colours and symbols, colour gradients and using adobe illustrator and the golden mathematic ratio. Before CIS, I never did any research to make sure I wasn’t plagiarising someone’s work. I didn’t understand the importance. I’ve also learnt it’s important to persevere and not to worry if something I do fails. STEAM skills can be applied and are important for all career interests and passions, not just computer programming. I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to use them to work in space travel. I’d love to one day go to space!
About CIS’s STEAM programme:
STEAM is an interdisciplinary teaching approach that stands for Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship or Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. It focuses on teaching students how these disciplines are connected and aligned with what they will experience when they enter the workforce. Today, nearly all jobs no matter what the profession, rely on people’s expertise in these areas. Starting in pre-kindergarten, CIS integrates STEAM into activities that solve real-life, authentic problems, in classrooms stocked with 3D printers and laser cutters. The goal is to motivate students to experiment, build and invent.
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