A seven-million baht refurbishment of Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside's Design Technology is already starting to pay dividends as teachers and students adapt positively to their new environment. Part of a 1.1 billion baht ‘Project 2021', Shrewsbury has undertaken significant building works, refurbished, redesigned and renovated existing spaces. Along with a new and improved Early Years Garden, the modern Design Technology building is part of a continuous investment programme and improvement of the Riverside campus. This year will be headlined by completing Project 2021: a new 1.1bn Baht Senior School and Sports Complex.
Some older equipment in DT has been replaced with state-of-the-art 3D printers, laser cutters and top-of-the-line extraction fans, meaning that students now have the tools to design and create without limitations. The new open-plan area has an abundance of natural light and the ability for teachers to be flexible as, often, several classes are happening simultaneously. Head of Design Technology, Mr Mark Holloway says the refurbishment has made the department more lively and more modern at the same time.
"Despite the start, we've had [due to COVID-19], we still have plans to install a maker space, which will allow our students to have an area that is all about creation and recreation. The ability to test models and trial ideas at any stage in a lesson will harness creativity. Some universities employ an area like this, and we want to give our students the best possible start."
The push to gain access to high-end software, hardware, and machinery combined with passionate, highly qualified and creative teachers is the recipe for future success at tertiary institutions.
"If my DT staff and I wanted to be set in our ways, we would fall behind best-practice teaching, rapidly. The way we teach is constantly evolving as our subject matter does. We stay abreast of the changes and adapt accordingly," Mr Holloway says.
Despite this, the Design Technology department at Shrewsbury is aware that the allure of the newest technology can lessen the experience of actually creating things that challenge students.
"It is a fine balance as a teacher to provide not only access to the latest design computer technology but also to harness creativity and promote the actual creation of products. It is an unfortunate side-effect of the leaps in technology that students are fantastic renderers, but cannot physically create the product. We are trying to teach both".
In August 2021, Riverside will open a brand new 17,000 sqm senior school and separate sports performance complex; to find out more and learn about our upcoming Facebook Live click here.