Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools Innovation Center
The Innovation Center opened in August 2016! We want to thank the of the generous private donors who funded the construction, equipment, and furnishing in this amazing space.
Project Goal: Develop a multi-purpose transdisciplinary (across multiple content areas) learning space that supports flexible learning (a pillar within our District’s Strategic Plan) to: maximize student collaboration, promote creativity and innovation, grow authentic research, and integrate technology in a connected and seamless way. This circumfluent (flowing through in an ongoing way) space will provide a connected Creation Station, Collaboration Station, and Iteration & Research Station for ongoing use by all 7-12 teachers and students, which will support students as they realize their individual and collective potential.
Project Overview: This Innovation Lab will include these three distinct areas which will offer students on the 7- 12 campus the ability to create, collaborate, research, and iterate in a seamless and ongoing way:
- Collaboration Classroom - will allow space for large group discussion, small group interaction, access to specialized software (i.e. TinkerCad, Sculptris, Pinnacle, etc.), and use of technology to support collaboration beyond the walls of our Lab and/or school via Skype sessions, conference calls, and integrated use of Google apps
- Iteration & Research Center - will provide a connected space for iteration (idea creation / synthesis / refinement) and large and small group research / calculation / study
- Creation Lab - will house state-of-the-art-fabrication lab equipment (including laser cutters, 3D printers, and an embroidery machine)
Why was this space needed?
Our community and school district value our rich tradition and multi-generational experiences. While we value preserving the culture of our schools over time, we are reminded that we have always been a district committed to progressive and innovative approaches to learning. We have and always will be committed to being responsive to the changing landscape of education and finding ways to most appropriately prepare our students.
Teaching and learning has changed significantly in recent years. Wireless Internet access, coupled with student and teacher access to technology all day, every day has been a part of this change. Today, the average American is able to easily find facts, figures, calculations, etc. through a few taps on an iPhone or via a Google search. Thus, the need for memorization of facts, figures, and details, etc. has been replaced with the need for deep understanding, connection of ideas, and the ability to apply and transfer ideas to other areas. Students of today must be trained in these need areas and are challenged to develop strategies to collaborate, brainstorm, research, and problem-solve. A dramatic paradigm shift in the role of educators has occurred, moving away from delivery of content to facilitation of deep understanding and synthesis of information for students. Learning expectations involving higher levels of thinking, research, problem-solving, real-world application of learning, and critical thinking, which at one time were reserved for students at the collegiate level, are now expected of our secondary students. We are grooming Collaborators (who will be able to maximize interaction with others to problem-solve), Iterators (who will generate and refine ideas), Researchers (who will compile and use authentic data), and Creators (who will be able to integrate ideas and bring ideas to life). The Innovation Center will support these efforts, providing the space for progressive approaches to teaching and learning to thrive.
Impact on Teaching and Learning:
The Innovation Center has the capacity to drastically improve teaching and learning for our teachers and students, supporting our work within the Curriculum and the Flexible Learning pillars of our District Strategic Plan. Here’s how our teachers can already envision its use…..
- MS Math teachers will use the space to create 3D models as they study surface area and volume; the Collaboration Station will support the collaborative nature of the CPM math program
- 7-12 Science teachers will seize the opportunity to use the Collaboration Station to engage in virtual science labs and interact with scientists in the field
- MS World Language and Social Studies teachers will use the Collaboration Station to Skype with historians, museum curators, archaeologists in the field, and classes of students throughout the world to study various regions and historical periods; students will be able to engage in remote field trips to ancient ruins and historical sites. Small group research relative to specific topics of study will be able to seamlessly occur using the small group research meeting rooms within the Iteration & Research Station
- 7-12 Enrichment - the Creation Station will provide a workspace for invention prototype development related to Invention Convention, interdisciplinary grade level projects (like the Crime Lab reconstruction), development of Robotics programming, and a space for after-school clubs, like Destination Imagination and Science Olympiad to engage in construction and problem-solving. The connected spaces within the Innovation Lab will allow work to flow through centers as needed, in a very organic and fluid way.
- 7-12 Entrepreneurship and HS Business/Marketing classes will maximize use of the Collaboration and Creation centers through: design and brainstorming access to software that supports this (i.e. Sculptris) development of prototypes for product designs, design and manufacturing of logos as a part of a student-run business, and creation of advertisements/commercials for products; the connected Collaboration Station and Iteration & Research Station will allow each student and/or group of students to work through problem-solving at their own pace, access relevant software (i.e. Tinkercad, Pinnacle, etc.), and flow across the spaces which meet their needs in a personalized way during the class period (and beyond)
- HS Chemistry teachers will use the Innovation Center to foster deep problem-solving and hands-on exploration in the study of molecular geometry through the creation of models of compounds via 3D printing and/or manipulative building
- AP Physics teachers will use the Innovation Center to support student development of in-class hands-on projects, such as construction of roller coasters (to study energy), use of bumper cars (to study force/momentum), and development of Rube Goldberg machines (final cumulative project) in AP Physics 1 and student design and construction of models of electrical fields, equipotential lines, and V fields in AP Physics 2
- HS Art teachers will use the Innovation Center to support student design and brainstorming with access to software that supports this (i.e. Sculptris), followed by immediate connection to space to foster students in: creation of 3D models of architectural designs and character face and body designs, development of watercolor woodblock prints, refinement of projects to cut difficult or organic shapes for wood projects, creation of negative space wood votives, development and refinement of mixed media projects, development and enhancement of jewelry-making and sculpture projects via laser-cutter capabilities