Rachel Fincken is Art and Design Educator and Coordinator at ICS Milan, Globeducate.

Rachel Fincken is Art & Design Coordinator at ICS Milan and has significant practical experience using design thinking in the classroom and beyond. Rachel writes about the STEAM approach at the school´s brand new campus, Symbiosis.

Over the past year, both teachers and students have felt, at times, that they have been part of a global social experiment, navigating the brave new world of education during the pandemic. Now, as most restrictions are gradually being lifted in Italy, we return to our workshops and classrooms with many questions about our learning processes, and open to a clear opportunity for innovation at this crucial time. 

At ICS Milan we are unlocking the Italian design system with STEAM, an inspirational approach to learning which uses Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths as access points for building student enquiry, critical thinking and exploring a child’s creative mind. Our STEAM approach is led by a team of hands-on, innovative educators. 

At ICS International School Milan, we walk the walk. We are all designers. Our goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer (visual and/or performance) Our teachers use project-based learning that crosses each of the five disciplines and fosters an inclusive learning environment in which all students can engage and contribute. Unliketraditional models of teaching, they bring the disciplines together, strengthening the connections between the modeling process and the computational thinking, for example. Through this holistic approach, students are able to exercise both sides of their brain at once.

As is widely known, Milan remains pivotal in design. The SuperSalone this September was not the same as the annual fair that showcases product concepts and welcomes students and professionals from all over the world, but Italy continues to celebrate design, strategy and innovation. Through thick and thin design and design thinking continue to write history, it is in our DNA. 

Every day we are all confronted with a minefield of challenges, so I ask you this: are you a problem solver or trouble shooter? If so, then perhaps you are a designer! Design is a mind set. Design is about being open and receptive. Design is participation. Design is a relationship. 

In her opening welcome at the start of the academic year, our Executive Principal Antonia Giovanazzi talked toall staff at our fabulous school located at 4 sites across Milan, as one school and as an integral part of the Globeducate family.  As part of Globeducate, we build on our mission together, to prepare each student to become global citizens who can shape the world. 

27 / 10 / 21