With the funds raised by MCSFSA and the generous donations from our alumnae, a number of rooms in both Primary Section and Secondary Section have been newly furbished, to keep the School in line with the latest education trends and needs. Recently opened were the Digital Music Room and STEM Room in the Primary Section and a third 21ˢᵗ Century Classroom, a Maker Space, in the Secondary Section, not to mention the two 21ˢᵗ Century Classrooms and Cookery Room that were completed in 2018. We cover some of these projects below:
The aim of implementing a STEM+ education at Maryknoll is to equip our students with critical thinking skills and to encourage them to think from multiple perspectives, collaborate with others, take risks, and develop creative and innovative solutions to problems. We are transforming the traditional classroom into a place where experiential learning occurs and where collaborative innovation is ignited. With the help of the latest technology and carefully designed hands-on experience, our students actively go through the process of inquiry to seek answers to questions, thus proactively developing knowledge and skills, in turn nurturing proper values and attitudes to overcome any challenges they encounter in the world. The STEM Room will continue to upgrade its facilities to meet these objectives.
DIGITAL MUSIC ROOM
The digital music room provides a platform for students to fully exercise their creativity. Students now have access to computers and other peripherals such as the synthesizer, electronic keyboard, mixer and music software. With teachers as facilitators, students can conduct self-directed music training and activities at their own pace. The goal is to effectively equip students with musical knowledge and cultivate their ability to enjoy music. Aural training, score reading and listening may take place through computer software or students’ own research on the Internet. Even students who have not been musically trained may improvise, arrange, perform and record music on their own through sequencing, wave editing or notation software. Music composition is made simple – they can listen to the effects of their creative works instantly and revise them at any time.
The school hopes to broaden our students’ learning experience with other Key Learning Areas (KLAs). Project learning is an open learning approach which encourages self-directed learning and encourages reflective learning and development of generic skills. With teachers’ elaborate design and arrangement, project learning in Music can be connected with other art forms and / or KLAs. For example, students can use the synthesizer and music software to compose a song to express gratitude, love and respect to their family.
REVAMPING THE COOKERY ROOM
Bonnie Chan and her friends from Class of 1986 had a vision for the Cookery Room in the secondary section: they wanted to transform it in a way that resembles the modern kitchen. During a school visit in 2016 for her class’ 30th anniversary reunion, Bonnie noticed that a lot of facilities on campus needed a facelift. The Cookery Room, for example, had very basic fittings, she recalled.
“I remember when I was attending Maryknoll, I always felt very proud that we have such a beautiful campus. I believe that girls who are now attending the school also deserve a nice environment as I did back then.” Passionate about cooking, Bonnie decided to target the Cookery Room.
She reached out to Shelley Lee, who quickly assembled a team including June Lo, Emily Ngan, and Serena Yeung. With support from Ms Melaine Lee and Ms Cynthia Ho, the group proceeded with the project. “I think everyone on the team shared a common motivation, which is an eagerness to do something for the school,” Bonnie said.
The team decided to revamp the room by including fittings such as steam ovens, induction cookers, and a conventional oven with a range of functionalities at each cook station. For the teacher’s workstation, the AV system was improved and an overhead projector was installed above to enable live demonstration on a TV screen. The team also decided that, in addition to being the venue for cooking classes, the room could serve as communal space for gatherings, such as alumni reunion.
The interior designer and project manager was Serena Yeung, who was not only in charge of design and aesthetics, but also project deliverables from start to finish. The process took place in a matter of months. Serena drew designs in May 2017. Construction works commenced over the summer, and renovation was completed by October, as she had planned. Creating the modern Cookery Room as a team brought forth each member’s resources and expertise. “Cooking and design have both been my top interests,” Serena said. “With this project, I was very excited to marry the two to deliver a product that will last a lifetime!”
THE FIRST 21ˢᵗ CENTURY CLASSROOM
Cordelia Chung and Cynthia Mong were two of several passionate Maryknollers among the Class of 1977 who spearheaded the conception and launch of the 21ˢᵗ Century classroom. In essence, the entire class made a donation to fund the room’s refurbishment to enable current students a higher quality of teaching with advanced facilities and equipment. The room is located on the first floor of the secondary section building and in close proximity to our Form 1 student homerooms. It was opened to students on 20 January, 2018. The hope of the Class of 1977 is that this spirit of service to the school could be spread from them to other classes, too. They said, “We love the school so much. We count on you Maryknoll girls to continue living the spirit of giving and loving, to home, to country, to the world.”