Technology, Design, & Innovation
We believe in using technology in support of learning, not using technology for technology’s sake.
At Westridge, our curriculum drives tech use. Teachers use technology to enrich teaching and learning in their specific subjects and lessons, help personalize and deepen instruction, and support students with a diverse range of learning styles. What’s more, students learn to use technology as a tool to support their own learning—a crucial skill in a connected, digital world.
1:1 Laptop Program, Online Ethics, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
Our 1:1 laptop program ensures learning that is student-centered, personalized, inquiry-based, and hands-on. We launched our laptop program to provide flexibility, mobility, and equity so that every Westridge student has access to a laptop and digital resources.
Every student in grades 4-8 is issued a school-owned and school-supported laptop. Students in grades 9-12 bring their own devices with the choice of any device (Mac or PC) that meets the requirements of the Westridge technology office; an impressive software package is provided free of charge (including the entire Adobe Suite with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Premiere, Lightroom, and more, and Microsoft Office 360). Our friendly Help Desk staff and our Student Tech Partners are available to provide support to students of all grades.
The cornerstone of our laptop program is guiding students toward an understanding of online ethics, self-control, and discernment. Beginning with day-long technology camps our new students attend over the summer and continuing with Human Development classes focused on ethical online behavior and discussions on how to become a responsible digital citizen, social-emotional learning is central to students’ experience with technology at Westridge.
Technology & Design Courses & Clubs
- Middle School Computer Science 7 & 8
- Middle School Coding & Game Design Elective
- Middle School STEAM Projects Elective
- Middle & Upper School Rocketry
- AP Computer Science & AP Computer Science Principles
- Upper School Girls Who Code Club
- Upper School Robotics
- Upper School Science Olympiad
Our STEAMWork Design Studio opened in 2015 as Westridge’s dedicated makerspace, offering students in all grades opportunities for hands-on, interdisciplinary work creating, inventing, and engineering. The STEAMWork philosophy is to empower students to discover how their world is put together, inspire curiosity, and develop a “design thinking” mindset. The makerspace equipment is used by classes in all departments and across divisions for a wide variety of projects, ranging from scanning and replicating fossilized woolly mammoth teeth in Biology, to designing traditional cut-paper patterns for a Spanish class Day of the Dead celebration, to engineering flotation devices in the seventh grade and 3D-printing student-designed music notation devices in orchestra class.
We are proud to provide state-of-the-art equipment in the studio, including: 3D printers and scanners, a digital vinyl cutter, an Epilog Laser Cutter, a CNC machine, circuit-making and robotics tools, and a wide range of hand and wood-working tools.
STEAMWork in the Classroom
One of our major goals for our makerspace is to make learning hands-on and visible. While our rocketry and robotics programs (and STEAM-based electives like the middle school STEAM Projects class) are frequent users of the space, our STEAMWork staff works with a range of students and faculty to provide interdisciplinary opportunities for engineering both within the daily curriculum and for students pursuing their STEAM curiosity and interests in their free time.
Faculty in Residence
While any faculty member from any discipline is welcome to use the space, each year the studio hosts a STEAMWork Faculty Residency; interested faculty members are selected to receive training and guidance on how to integrate the STEAMWork Studio into their curriculum. Previous residents have included Lower School Spanish Teacher Sabrina Leon, Lower School Math & Science Teacher Susi Pettersson, Middle School Science Teacher Barbra Chabot, and Upper School English Teacher Tarra Stevenson.