The Innovation Center
The Saint Anthony’s Innovation Center is a space in the school where students can get hands on experience with equipment, tools, and technology to create authentic STEM projects. This room will serve as a makerspace and classroom with the purpose of supplying individuals and groups with a space, resources (equipment/materials), as well as education and support to create nearly any projects they can imagine. These projects will include, but are not limited to, inventions, robots, prototypes, experimental apparatus, art, furniture, software/apps, or any other idea which they wish to bring to fruition.
The space will be designed to facilitate collaboration and creative problem-solving. The SA Innovation Center will include digital fabrication technology ranging from 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines as well as traditional tools. The space will also include a full class set of computers allowing students to design and simulate projects digitally and code their own programs, websites, and apps. This will be a space where students learn by doing. Where they can imagine, design, and create.
The process of making this space a reality is already underway. During the summer of 2019, we built a small room with some tools and equipment which has allowed us to prototype curriculum, equipment, and use cases. This mini-makerspace is now being used by the Engineering Class and various clubs including Robotics, Space and Aviation, Science Olympiad and others, but is far too small to meet our needs. Expanding to a larger space will allow Saint Anthony’s to have more equipment, tools, technology, space, integration opportunities, and most importantly, this new space will be large enough to fit entire classes.
After the new Innovation Center is built, we plan on getting as many students and teachers using the space as possible. In addition to having a class in the space each period, we also plan on having the space open before and after school every day for any students who wish to work on projects for class or their own independent projects. We will be expanding our current Engineering Curriculum and providing professional development to help teachers find ways to integrate even more STEM experiences into our existing courses. During the summer, we will offer a STEM camp for upper elementary and middle school students, which will also help to drive enrollment. We would also like to partner with our Future Business Leaders Initiative to create a Saint Anthony’s Startup Incubator, where members of the Saint Anthony’s community would be able to use the space to develop prototypes and products, while current students would be able to get real-world, hands-on industry experience.
This project will expand our Integrated STEM Program, give students more opportunities for authentic learning experiences in STEM and create a culture of creativity and collaboration at Saint Anthony’s.