Innovation Lab

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 will be named after the Cathy and Larry Goldberg family in appreciation of their lead gift. This dedicated space for Lower and Middle School students will allow 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.

In the course of the last two years, students from the Lyndhurst campus have traveled to Gates Mills to utilize the Sydell & Arnold Miller Fab Lab for special projects, and Hawken’s Director of Maker Spaces Nick DiGiorgio has taken portable equipment from Gates Mills to Lyndhurst to share with students in our Lower and Middle School divisions. This new space will house programming for all of our preschool through eighth grade students on site, providing many more opportunities for them to create, tinker, explore, and discover using a variety of tools. The facility improvements will accommodate innovative, interdisciplinary programming currently being designed by faculty members at each grade level.

The 3,600 square foot, lofted Innovation Lab will engage students in real-world projects that will inspire students to explore their own ideas, giving them permission to create, imagine, and build. This space will promote 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 will 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.

The Goldberg Family Innovation Lab will feature four distinctive learning areas in addition to the large central common space.

Discovery Zone
This space will be an enclosed project-based environment for students of all ages to actively engage in hands-on projects and collaborative STEM-based experiences. Teachers can utilize the special features of this zone for science projects; wet-lab experiments; engineering challenges; and focused class discussion, experimentation, and discovery.                                                                       
Fabrication Zone
The Fabrication Zone will give 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 will include a CNC router as well as saws, drills, hammers, sanders and hand tools that you would find in a traditional woodshop.

Innovation Zone
This area of the Innovation Lab will allow students to transfer project ideas to the digital fabrication equipment and create 2D and 3D prototypes. Utilizing 21st century design technology, students will be able to model, print, cut, and assemble using sewing machines, a vinyl cutter, laser cutters, and 3D printers.

Engineering Loft
One feature of the Engineering Loft is the Collaboration Zone, which will be outfitted with innovative technology and flexible furniture to enhance the collaborative project experiences. The other main feature of the loft will be the Robotics Zone, where kids will get hands-on experience building and programming robots of all shapes and sizes. In the loft, students will have access to the electronics station, where they can use soldering irons, programming boards, and electrical components to create electronic circuits and prototypes.

Hands-on, Playful Learning

The Innovation Lab at Lyndhurst aligns with Hawken’s educational philosophy that young children do best through learning by doing and playful learning. Through a variety of hands-on, developmentally appropriate learning activities, Lower and Middle School students are acquiring problem-solving strategies to think critically and creatively in order to apply and connect their solutions to the real world. Hawken teachers create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable making choices and taking risks through learning by doing. As a result, Hawken students discover the joy of life-long learning and recognize there is more than one way to come to a solution.
Playful learning is also an important part of growth and development on the Lyndhurst campus. During play, our younger students, who are innately curious, are highly motivated to gain knowledge and concepts through exploration and discovery. When children play, they are making natural connections with the world as well as with others. They are also developing skills that will help them read, write, and think like a mathematician and scientist.

As part of the Lower and Middle School experience, students are “making” projects that involve playing, designing, and creating. When students are engaged in this work, learning becomes self-directed and continuous.

Thank you to our generous donors!

The Attell Family
Laura ’93 & Dennis Bower
Charles & Karen Chaikin
Charles & Grosvie Cooley
Daniel & Stuart Deets
The Antonucci Family      
Tim Eippert
Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga & 
     Stephanie Whitko
Daniel E. Geller ’81
Norma & Albert Geller
Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Gillespie
Cathy & Larry Goldberg
Jennifer & Jordan Goldberg
Tristin Goldberg
Dan & Laura Grajzl
Paul N. Harris & Dr. Michelle F. Harris
Mike & Kendra Howley
Jeremy & Amanda Jacobs
Blake ’95 & Sevda Kleinman
Brinton ’94 & Katherine Lincoln
Robert Lorenz & 
     Aylin Ozdemir-Lorenz
Brock & Kimberley Milstein
Parents’ Association
Andrew & Erin Ross
The Paula & Walter Schwartz Family:      
     Laura ’93, Zachary ’97 & Aaron ’00
The Selman Family: Caroline,                
     David, Parker ’15 & Alison ’18
Mr. & Mrs. Ron Shapiro
David & Audrey Sylvan
Jaime & Natalia Vigil
Dominic ’77 & Julie Visconsi
In Memory of Joshua R. Weil ’15
Clifford A. White ’78
Christopher & Megan Yates
Hillary & Stephen Zashin

If you're interested in helping us complete this project, please contact Kathleen Guzzi, Co-Director of Advancement by email at or by phone at 440-423-2918.
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, preschool through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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