Applied arts have been a hallmark of a Derby education for more than 200 years.
Our students practice traditional skills such as sewing and shop, and approach new disciplines such as robotics, Photoshop, coding, and engineering design to create an interdisciplinary approach that mirrors the real world. Whether in the shop, the MakerSpace, or the tech booth in Larson Hall, our students are combining their creativity and ingenuity to create and learn.
In Grade 4 and 5 shop, students learn safety and etiquette while working on their custom wooden projects. There’s a focus on understanding the materials they are using, as well as an emphasis on developing hand-eye coordination. There is an inherent feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes from making something by hand that we want each student to experience.
Sewing instruction started with the first class of students back in 1791 and has continued through the years. Students worked on traditional “samplers” back then. Today’s students design and create an array of projects using their hands-on, mathematical, and spatial thinking skills.
Our MakerSpace has redefined how students approach STEM, art and the creative process. With access to 3D printers, CNC machines, and a variety of fabrication tools, our students are able to bring their art to life.
Upper School students are able to choose from a wide variety of applied arts elective courses to further build on prior knowledge of the various subjects they learned in earlier grades. Digital arts, set design, acting, publications, and yearbook are some of the available courses where students can dig deeper into a creative subject of their choice.