Applied Arts are a hallmark of a Derby education, challenging students to think, create and innovate. Traditional skills such as sewing and shop are enhanced with new disciplines such as robotics, photoshop, coding and engineering design, creating an interdisciplinary approach that mirrors the real world.

Handcrafting meets Technologic know-how...aptitudes for a changing world!

The Applied Arts Program has always been a special and richly rewarding part of the Derby student experience. The applied arts courses give students in the Middle and Upper Schools opportunities to explore their talents and interests in new and different ways. They are often delighted to find that what they learn is applicable in many other subjects.

Applied Arts at a Glance

List of 4 items.

  • Sewing >>

    Sewing instruction started with the first class of students back in 1784 and has continued through the years. Students worked on traditional “samplers” back then. Today’s students design and create an array of useful as well, decorative items. In Grades 4-5, students use their mathematical skills to create patterns as well as learn about clothing construction. In Grade 7, students learn more advanced sewing techniques and explore the environmental and human costs of the clothing industry. They are then are challenged to think about how they can recycle an old piece of clothing into something new. This “Wear Old Is New” project is an exercise in multi-dimensional thinking that encompasses product design, functionality, economics … and customer appeal.
  • Woodshop >>

    Shop classes in Grades Four and Five introduce students to basic woodworking construction. They then bring what they’ve learned into their lighthouse design project. Researching a lighthouse and then building it introduces students to a whole new way of thinking about how the world works.
  • Robotics and Engineering >>

    Grade Six students focus on problem solving through engineering design and robotics. The centerpiece of the experience is a “Rube Goldberg” project where they collaborate on creating a device that solves a specific challenge – such as a robot that moves without wheels. Software programming, prototyping, real-world testing and product demonstration skills all come into play. The results are always a wonder ... and often hilarious.
  • Grade 7 and 8 Applied Art Electives >>

    In Grades 7 and 8, the variety of applied arts elective courses further build on prior knowledge of clothing, wood construction, design and engineering concepts. Students are able to choose from more advanced robotics, bridge-building, CAD design, set building and theater tech training, digital photography and yearbook.
The best educational choice on the South Shore for Pre-K through Grade 8 education.