Creative design thinking for a complex world

The Innovation, Design, Engineering and Applied Scholarship (IDEAS) program is designed to graduate students with the skills needed to confront challenges found in the study of science, engineering, business and other areas where creativity and problem-solving skills are essential. The objective of each IDEAS course is to learn how to think. 

Students will work to define problems, develop solutions, test their ideas, document and present their plans, work as a team, and become skillful innovators. 

IDEAS courses will emphasize:
  • The development of a mindset for creative thinking
  • Being creative and innovative when solving problems
  • The importance of attitude, knowledge, imagination, and evaluation when finding solutions
  • The principles for improving divergent thinking - how to brainstorm, make connections, link ideas and work "outside the box"
  • Methods to be a creative thinker
  • How to define problems and determine their limits
  • Techniques for presenting solutions
  • Working as a member of a multifunctional team
  • Time management, scheduling, and tracking progress
  • Organizing meetings, keeping records, and generating action lists
  • Monitoring costs to build and operate machines, systems and processes
These courses involve real world situations. The specific situations are not the primary goal — rather we emphasize the methods that are followed to solve the problem and complete the design. A student who completes this program will be ready to solve problems of any kind. 

Courses Offered in 2017/2018

List of 8 items.

  • ENG 10 - Creativity, Innovation and Engineering

    Learn how to solve problems, be innovative, be organized, and work as a team to design and build projects such as a compressed air rocket launcher, a simulated cell tower, a water filler, an elevator and an electric motor. Teams will study and practice how to run a meeting, assign tasks, maintain a schedule, stay organized, and track costs. 
  • ENG 20 - Robotics I (Automation Engineering)

    Work as a team to build a robot for entry in to the FIRST Robotics competition. We will complete the challenge provided to us while at the same time learning how to run a meeting, assign tasks, maintain a schedule, stay organized, track costs, solve problems, develop the best solution, and be prepared to compete in at least two local events. 
  • ENG 21 - Machine Design I (Mechanical Engineering)

    Begin work on the design and fabrication of an all-electric car. As this is a multi-year project, the team will select a few components to work on, making sure to consider how future teams will be able to resume work on the final product. Teams will study and practice how to run a meeting, assign tasks, maintain a schedule, stay organized, track costs, and solve problems. They will design, document, and fabricate the components they have selected to work on, creating a complete package for the next team to continue this project
  • ENG 22 - Introduction to CAD Software

    Learn to use Autodesk software, such as Inventor Professional and Building Design Suite Ultimate. We will follow a curriculum developed by Autodesk that allows students to learn how to generate both two- and three-dimensional drawings of various objects, parts, components, structures, flow charts, and electrical schematics. 
  • ENG 23 - Introduction to MATLAB

    Learn how to use MATLAB, a high-performance language for technical computing. It integrates computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. We will look at various data sources to study, analyze and report on what we have learned. One project will use actual data from The Gunnery's weather station, water and wastewater systems, and other utilities to understand how these are related and what conclusions we can draw from the data. Other projects will be based on student interest. 
  • ENG 30 - Water & Wastewater Systems (Environmental Engineering)

    Learn about various aspects of water and wastewater treatment including reverse osmosis and other technologies used for purifying potable water and for desalinization of seawater. Study the water distribution system used at The Gunnery, test our water quality, and understand what the results mean. Examine the wastewater collection and treatment systems in use on campus, and design a state of the art system for a small municipality. We will also study how reverse osmosis is used to produce potable water from seawater, and design a small system for generating high purity water. 
  • ENG 31 - Applied Building Design I

    As a team we will design the home of the future, creating a unique residence that will include state of the art components. Working from a set of requirements from our "customer" we will develop a floor plan, design the structure, size and select HVAC, electrical and other systems, and select new technologies that can be used to make the home more desirable. The team will study and practice how to run a meeting, assign tasks, maintain a schedule, stay organized, track costs, solve problems and document our design. This courses includes learning to use Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate.
  • ENG 40 - Process Plant Design (Applied Chemical Engineering)

    Design all aspects of a manufacturing plant such as a beverage bottler, an automated warehouse, or a similar type of facility. Generate Process & Instrumentation drawings, develop flow charts, size systems and equipment, and write specifications. As a team we will study and practice how to run a meeting, assign tasks, maintain a schedule, stay organized, track costs, solve problems, and document our design. 

The Gunnery

gps address: 22 Kirby Road, Washington, CT 06793
mail address: 99 Green Hill Road, Washington, CT 06793
tel: 860-868-7334
Contact Us
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.