The Wheeler School will partner with NuVu Innovation School in Cambridge, MA, next fall to pilot the first NuVuX Studio Term in Rhode Island, offering admission to the program to students enrolled in Wheeler’s Upper School.
NuVu, located in Cambridge, MA and founded in 2010 by PhDs and graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, forms unique partnerships with schools in the public, private, charter, and international sectors. Students in the Wheeler program will work in an immersive studio-model outside of typical classrooms and traditional coursework, fusing subject matter as needed by working with faculty members from NuVu and Wheeler on solving big (or small) open-ended problems. An end-of-term portfolio documents the students’ design decisions and showcases their final product.
Starting fall of 2019 at Wheeler, Upper School students will be able to choose to participate in a series of “studios” which will be developed in a unique collaboration between Wheeler and the team at NuVu. Each studio will center on a large-scale problem and a “hands-on-minds-on” project-based approach to solution-seeking that will have an impact on the community or world. Custom experiences are in development with a group of Wheeler faculty and the NuVu team over this fall.
Announcing the new partnership
Wheeler Head of School Allison Gaines Pell, in sharing the news, said, “Wheeler has always prioritized the interest of our curious and ambitious students. We wonder, how can we engage them, of course, but also how might we prepare them for a multi-disciplinary world that is advancing at an unprecedented pace, where unsolvable problems will be an ordinary day at work? NuVu has a deep well of experience and track record, giving students access to real problems — with many possible answers — and the tools to explore their ideas. I had been following NuVu's work for years, but when I walked into their studio to see students designing playgrounds, building furniture with vegetable protein, and creating driverless cars; all I could think of was the delight and engagement on the faces of Wheeler students. I knew this was a match. The Studio Term will give invested Wheeler students the chance to wrestle with their ideas, plan and implement, and get real-time feedback from coaches and mentors. With their track record and award-winning concepts, I knew NuVu would have the intellectual vigor that Wheeler students expect with the creative and flexible approach that our 21st-century students need. Our faculty and staff group is excited to build this program in collaboration with NuVu this fall.”
The Academic & Co-Curricular Benefits of the NuVuX Studio Term at Wheeler
John Campbell, Head of the Wheeler English Department said, “This program is for students who want their learning to effect a direct and immediate impact on the world. NuVuX Studio Term will require students to attend to the needs of their local environment and develop a course of study that aims to address those needs through the practical application of the design process. Students in NuVuX learn to embrace the hands-on, trial-and-error nature of the iterative process while using both their empathy and creativity to drive their classwork.”
Science faculty member Christine Perkins said, “The NuVuX program offers students an immersive adventure in project-based learning. They will explore their ideas deeply, all the while collaborating with peers. They will embrace mistakes and discover which of their mistakes are the most valuable. They will change their own minds and the minds of others. They will learn to follow through on projects, from the very seeds of ideas to completely constructed products. This is the essence of creativity.”