In a time marked by constant innovation, rapid tech advancements, and evolving ethical challenges, integrating technology into education is imperative. St. Luke’s strategic vision underscores the importance of enhancing every student's capabilities and understanding of the power and societal impact of technology, making it a cornerstone for their preparation to thrive.

Emerging Technologies, Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) Curriculum

St. Luke’s emerging technologies curriculum looks beyond trends to the underlying foundational elements that all modern technology is built upon, such as problem-solving, algorithmic thinking, programming, and data analysis.
Through required and elective courses, students will build comprehensive physical, digital, and logical design and implementation skills. This includes computer programming; Computer-Aided Design (CAD); physical prototyping; empathetic human-tech interface design; and data science. 

Our vision is for all St Luke’s graduates to leave the Hilltop as skilled, conscientious creators and users of the technologies shaping the world.

Middle School: A Four-Year Foundation

St. Luke’s core technology curriculum will expand in the Middle School in September 2024 to include a full four-year sequence of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) courses:

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  • 5th – CSE 5: Creative Problem Solving

    The goal of this course is for students to become more observant of their environment and see themselves as changemakers who can identify and solve many types of problems. The iterative Design Thinking Process will provide students with a framework for creatively solving a problem and communicating their ideas. Through individual and collaborative projects and puzzles, students will develop empathy by becoming more attentive to the needs of others to engineer solutions that directly address the challenge. This class focuses on problem-solving strategies and is an introduction to the tools and materials in the designLab that are used for low-fidelity prototyping as well as basic block and text-based code.
  • 6th – CSE 6: Physical Design for Social Impact

    The goal of this course is to engage students in the Design Thinking Process as they learn physical skills related to fabrication and prototyping so that they may identify as designers and engineers. Students practice brainstorming and research as they develop problem-solving skills related to specific tools and challenges. Lessons focus on the tools and methods necessary for specific project development. These tools become vehicles for student imagination as they design and build their own products at two distinct points in the year. These designs rely on knowledge of core content to solve real-world design challenges for fundraising. Students will learn to create business plans that will maximize their philanthropic contributions to their cause.
  • 7th – CSE 7: Computing & AI Ethics

    This course provides an engaging introduction to Artificial Intelligence with an emphasis on ethical decision-making. Students learn technical concepts—such as how to train a simple classifier—and consider the ethical implications of those technical concepts, such as algorithmic bias. Students become comfortable with key terms such as dataset, learning algorithm, prediction, and optimization, and will practice using an ethical matrix. Students learn to recognize AI systems in everyday life and reason about the predictions those systems make. Throughout the course, students gain a foundational understanding of their newly issued MacBook computers including the basic workings of a computer (memory, storage, CPU, I/O), the difference between data and application, networking and cloud computing concepts and practice (client/server model), and data types and management using spreadsheets.
  • 8th – CSE 8: Electronics & Robotics

    This course ties together computer science and engineering as students study physical computing in the form of electronics and robotics. Robotics requires a physical build as well as programming logic to add functionality. Students continue to use the Design Thinking Process as they design and build simple circuits; they use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design the housing for their robots. The prototypes are made using 3D printers and laser cutters. The course focuses on problem-solving, collaboration, project planning, troubleshooting, creativity, and perseverance as students design and build their robots over the course of the year.

Upper School: Next-Level Skills

The Middle School curriculum provides a strong foundation for Upper School Computer Science and Engineering. This already robust curriculum continues to evolve with new offerings planned for 2024-2025. Upper School students take their skills to the next level by developing sophisticated problem-solving and technical programming capabilities. 

St. Luke's Distinction: Technological prowess is developed in tandem with a student's strong moral compass. Every level of emerging tech and CSE adds a new layer of learning around ethics and empathy. Read more about the critical importance of embedding ethics in Inside Higher Education: In Class, Some Colleges Overlook Technology’s Dark Side
Liz Perry, Assistant Head of School for Academics, presents Emerging Technologies at our 2023 State of the School.
Abby Abbott, Assistant Head of US, and Conor Grennan, Dean of Students and Head of Generative AI at NYU Stern Business School (and SLS parent), discuss how AI is reshaping education.

Liz Perry, St. Luke’s Head of School for Academics

A curriculum around emerging technologies means not waiting for others to develop programs. We have taken the lead in developing this critical new arm of education because it’s what students need now to thrive into the future.”

Leading Voices

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  • A Curious Talk About A Wildly Different Tool: St. Luke’s School Embraces Emerging Technologies

    The New Canaan Library audience sat riveted as a conversation about using generative AI in education unfolded. Conducted by Conor Grennan, the Dean of Students and Head of Generative AI at The NYU Stern Business School (and SLS parent), and Abby Abbott, St. Luke’s Assistant Head of Upper School, the discussion centered around the technology known as ChatGPT. Both Grennan and Abbott highlighted a shift in mindset, moving from initial fears about the impact of AI on student thinking and writing to a sense of curiosity: This is a wildly different tool. How do we use it?
    Read Liz's blog post

Recent Emerging Tech and CSE Happenings at St. Luke's

St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 35 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.