Hawken is committed to nurturing students’ interests and creativity while they are young. With this priority in mind, the School decided in 2017 to convert the underutilized Brown Gym on the Lyndhurst campus into an Innovation Lab, which was named after the Cathy and Larry Goldberg family in appreciation of their lead gift. This dedicated space for Lower and Middle School students allows students to move beyond cardboard and markers to the latest technologies and tools and provide them with more opportunities to explore, design solutions, build working prototypes, and solve real-world problems.
The 3,600 square foot, lofted Innovation Lab engages students in real-world projects that inspire students to explore their own ideas, giving them permission to create, imagine, and build. This space promotes student engagement in design, robotics, computer coding, architecture, 3-D printing, engineering, sound editing, video production, and other tangible work, enabling students to produce something novel that exists in the physical world and has utility.
Students work with programs such as Arduino, Scratch and Raspberry Pi, robots, rockets, gears, circuit boards, LED lights, sensors, motors, computer-assisted drawing software, vinyl cutters, laser cutters, CNC milling machines, 3D printers, and much more.
FEATURES OF HAWKEN’S INNOVATION LAB AT LYNDHURST
The Goldberg Family Innovation Lab features four distinctive learning areas in addition to the large central common space.
This space is an enclosed project-based environment for students of all ages to actively engage in hands-on projects and collaborative STEM-based experiences. Teachers utilize the special features of this zone for science projects; wet-lab experiments; engineering challenges; and focused class discussion, experimentation, and discovery.
The Fabrication Zone gives students access to hand tools, power tools, and workshop equipment to build larger projects. The Fabrication Zone invites kids to safely use the correct tools and materials to construct and build their designs. The space includes a CNC router as well as saws, drills, hammers, sanders and hand tools that you would find in a traditional woodshop.
This area of the Innovation Lab allows students to transfer project ideas to the digital fabrication equipment and create 2D and 3D prototypes. Utilizing 21st century design technology, students are able to model, print, cut, and assemble using sewing machines, a vinyl cutter, laser cutters, and 3D printers.
One feature of the Engineering Loft is the Collaboration Zone, which is outfitted with innovative technology and flexible furniture to enhance the collaborative project experiences. The other main feature of the loft is the Robotics Zone, where kids will get hands-on experience building and programming robots of all shapes and sizes. In the loft, students have access to the electronics station, where they can use soldering irons, programming boards, and electrical components to create electronic circuits and prototypes.