Tuesday, September 8, 2015

IdeaLab: More than a Makerspace

Sheila Ruen, chair of Visual Arts and Design, our colleagues and I are excited to introduce the IdeaLab, a large and broadly equipped space designed to support both current curricula and ongoing innovation for Penn Charter students. 

This new space, shown in renderings above and below, is the newest addition to PC's current lab spaces and activity dedicated to creative, innovative, project-based learning across all divisions and disciplines. That existing network includes the woodshop in the Lower School building, science labs and art studios throughout each school house, the outdoor learning spaces, including Chigwell Close, and the music lab in the Kurtz Center.

This new space will support Penn Charter's Strategic Vision by helping students develop three core competencies -- creation, communication and collaboration. Each of these competencies will have a dedicated area in the IdeaLab: a maker lab, a media lab, and a creative lab

The MakerLab is a workshop and workspace for students to create with both traditional tools and materials and new technologies, including 3D printers, laser cutters and electronics. The MediaLab is a studio for students to create and document their projects with digital and analog storytelling and portfolios. The CreativeLab connects these two work areas with communal tables for discussion, problem solving, and critique. 

IdeaLab, which will be in the lower level of the Middle School, will open this fall. More soon! 

-- Corey Kilbane, Upper School Science & Advisor for Science and Maker Clubs

Corey Kilbane teaches chemistry in Penn Charter's Upper School.

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