Innovative Learning Spaces

Published On: March 7th, 2024 | Categories: In The Classroom |

There is an undeniable allure to hands-on learning environments that awaken curiosity and foster creativity. Enter the dynamic realms of the Makerspace and the Technology & Innovation Lab – two distinct but equally transformative spaces that champion experiential education. Two recent activities in the Upper School highlight the hands-on aspects of these learning spaces. Take a few minutes to read below as we delve into the multifaceted benefits and unparalleled greatness of these innovative classrooms, where students aren’t just passive recipients of knowledge, but active creators, problem-solvers, and innovators.

The Makerspace

Fifth Grade Workshop is a Collaborative Inquiry process based on the Genius Hour concept. In this project on Ancient Architecture, students engage in a multifaceted exploration combining research, model-building, and problem-solving. This week students ventured into the makerspace to bring their ideas and designs alive. Students construct architectural models, rigorously testing their strength against the weight of three large dictionaries, aiming to defend the superiority of their chosen style in terms of durability, strength and sustainability.

Students embark on a journey of choice, inquiry, developing a multitude of questions about ancient architecture and refining their focus through multiple technology resources and group discussions. Through research procedures and meticulous documentation, students immerse themselves in the study of their chosen architectural style, culminating in the construction of a model that embodies the resilience and structural integrity of their design. They will test the physical strength of their final design next week – to see how many books each design can support.

As the project progresses, students are challenged to navigate logic and reasoning exercises, pushing the boundaries of their problem-solving skills and fostering a new level of critical thinking. Ultimately, this project empowers students to not only deepen their understanding of ancient architecture but also to cultivate essential skills in research, collaboration, and innovation, laying the groundwork for future academic and personal endeavors.


The Technology & Innovation Lab

Eighth graders have been working with laser engraving using the 3-D printer in tech class. Students selected or created an image based on their interests, explored the role of vector images in laser engraving, employed an online drawing program to outline key components, and ultimately engraved their outlined image onto a piece of balsa wood. This hands-on project integrated artistic expression with practical skills in digital design and laser engraving technology.