In 2015-2016 we created our version of a maker space; The Innovation Lab. We utilize the ilab to augment our S.T.E.A.M. infused curriculum, providing technology focussed enrichment opportunities and maker-based activities. All grade levels come to the iLab on a rotating weekly schedule. Classroom teachers also sign up to use the iLab for classroom projects during open times. The iLab provides a safe space for students to fail while supporting inquiry-based learning. Students are able to tinker, experiment and prototype in a safe and supportive environment. Collaboration and teamwork are also strongly encouraged. iLab activities are designed to foster self-reliance, attention to detail, patience, communication and empathy.
The iLab is stocked with iPad’s, computers, video & music production equipment, 3d printing, electronics prototyping modules, developmentally appropriate robotics resources for each grade and much more.
Popular iLab activities include;
Digital Citizenship and Online Safety - We live in an increasingly online world and our students need the skills and information to make good choices and use the web safely and appropriately. To further this goal we teach students at all grade levels about practicing Digital Citizenship and how to recognize dangers and stay safe online. Utilizing resources from Common Sense Media, BrainPOP, and Google students receive ongoing instruction yearly.
Robotics - Automation is transforming the way we live and work, to better prepare students for the future we seek to demystify robotics and make it approachable for all. Utilizing developmentally appropriate robotics systems we introduce our students at all grade levels to robotics. Students learn about inputs, outputs, loops, variables, and code their own algorithms and controls for the robots. We have successfully integrated robotics with our Judaics and Science curriculum. Robotics in use include: Kibo, Blue-Bot, Ozobot, Lego WeDo 2.0, Lego EV3, Sphero Bolt, & Dash, Dot & Cue.
3D Design & Printing - Students in 3rd through fifth grade learn to use a student focussed Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) program called Tinkercad to model 3d designs which we print on the schools 3d Printers. Once students have learned the basic CAD skills and become familiar with use of the program they are encouraged to design and prototype their own creations. We have also integrated 3d printing into Judaics Studies where students design Hannukia’s, Dreidels and more.
Electronics Discovery & Prototyping - Utilizing safe and age appropriate tools students learn about electronics, circuits and more. Students form teams and compete to build prototypes using Littlebits to solve challenges. Using Makey Makey students explore conductivity, creativity and interact with code and more.
Video and News Production Our lab is equipped with a video production studio, with professional sound, a video mixer, teleprompter and a green screen. Our students host a daily WJAO news program that plays in all classrooms to start each day. We use the studio on a variety of cross-curricular projects in addition to the news program.