We value the power of innovation so highly, we’ve dedicated a specific space and curriculum to encourage it.
The Innovation Lab is a state-of-the art space where students create, build, and think critically. Inspired by a program at Stanford University, our Innovation Lab asks Middle School students to approach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the mindset of problem-solvers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. The Lab is specifically geared for the aptitudes of adolescents. At this age, their idealism blooms, and they tend to channel energy into action more than reflection. In Middle School, we have three courses dedicated to innovation and design thinking.
This sixth-grade class introduces students to the tools, materials, and techniques used in the Innovation Lab. Students will experience instructional mini-workshops focusing on such skills as 3-D design and printing, power and hand tool use, soldering, and more. Safe use of tools will be emphasized in order to foster student independence in the lab.
This seventh-grade class focuses on engineering and empathy-based design processes. Students will experience instructional mini-workshops, including an introduction to coding and robotics.
This elective course for eighth-graders introduces students to computational thinking and the basics of how computers work. By focusing on the “Core 4” of programming—loops, variables, functions, and conditionals—students will learn to write programs that are efficient and adaptable. Students will practice translating and writing code in block-based languages using Sphero Robots and Micro:bit microcontrollers. An exploration of how computers work includes learning the binary number system and problem-solving using Turing Tumble, a completely mechanical computer. Homework, quizzes, and projects are part of this graded course. Exploring Computer Science is not a requirement nor a replacement for any of the Computer Science or Engineering courses offered by the Upper School.