The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Newly opened Solomon Wong Tech Cube STEAMs into the future

The newly completed Solomon Wong Tech Cube. [Laura Hsu/The Blue & Gold]

In Aug. 2017, Taipei American School began constructing a new building dedicated to robotics, science research and computer science courses. Since January, the Solomon Wong Tech Cube has been offering classes in its six floors of facilities for students pursuing science, technology, engineering, art and math.
The Tech Cube is divided into three different parts, available for students in Upper School, middle school and Lower School. On Upper School floors of the Tech Cube, Upper School students have access to an electrical engineering lab and a fabrication hub.
The middle school floor houses a VEX arena and a robotics design lab, as well as vast open areas for art and innovation. “Our middle school robotics program is growing significantly, and they were fascinated by the big space available for them,” Mr. Matthew Fagen, the robotics teacher and a sponsor for the robotics program, said. Floor one, dedicated to Lower School students, includes “tinker and maker” spaces, as well as an amphitheater. As a fun addition, Lower School students also have the option to go from the second floor to the first floor on a red slide called the Lin Slide. The slide is currently closed under construction and will reopen at a later date.
The fourth floor is connected to the rest of B Block by a bridge, and is the main area where Upper School students take classes such as AP computer science and Honors Artificial Intelligence. “The Tech Cube’s expanded facilities will also allow for more classes to be offered in the future,” Upper School robotics teacher Dr. Carlos Delgado-Mata said.
The fifth and sixth floors are dedicated to robotics equipment and the VEX robotics program. On the fifth floor, the sound of turning gears and clanking metal can be heard as students are hard at work programming and drawing up designs for their robots. “We even have a new virtual reality facility where you can put on VR goggles and draw designs in 3D,” Mr. Fagen said. The 3D drawing designs help students plan out their model more efficiently. With high vaulted ceilings and tall windows, the floor is able to house more robotics equipment than ever before.
The sixth floor houses a fully operating VEX arena for students to practice driving their robots in a realistic environment. In the corner, there is a common area where students can rest while discussing their designs. Complete with egg-shaped noise canceling pods and bean bags, this area is perfect for student engineers to relax after a long work session. In addition to the Tech Cube, the Fitness Cafe, located outside of the Information Commons, has reopened and attracted many students to try out the food.
Moreover, the Tech Cube’s opening brings about exciting opportunities features for students to explore new interests. “The Tech Cube starts a new generation for robotics, engineering and science. It definitely attracted more students to take STEAM-related courses this year,” Mr. Fagen said.

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