New Innovation Lab is Moving Full Steam Ahead

Engineering/Maker Classes for Elementary Teachers and Students Building Excitement for New Innovation Lab


Oct 2017

Progress continues on the new Innovation Lab at Ripley, a ‘maker space’ where elementary students can gather to share ideas and use tools and equipment to design, tinker, build and create solutions to design challenges encompassing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).

Infrastructure work at Ripley is still pending, but CEF-funded materials and training are moving full STEAM ahead. The Innovation Lab has already been put to work as an offsite learning environment where K-5 teachers discover innovative ways to incorporate making/engineering design challenges into the grade school curriculum. STEAM specialists from Lesley University working in partnership with CPS science leadership have conducted two district-wide development afternoons to an enthusiastic audience of K-2 educators.

According to Diane Kablik, CPS K-5 Science Curriculum Specialist, “The positive feedback and energy created by the teachers was so contagious; even the presenters from Lesley University said they were inspired by the group!”

Two more professional development sessions are planned along with a series of kick-off events featuring an entire day of STEAM activities at each of the Concord elementary schools:

Alcott – December 6th
Willard – December 7th
Thoreau – December 8th

And fifth graders will visit a temporary Innovation Lab at Ripley during the month of January where they will pilot 3-4 challenges dealing with circuits, magnetism and electricity:

Alcott – January 3, 4, 8, 11,
Thoreau – January 5, 10, 12, 17
Willard – January 22, 24, 25, 26

Kristen Herbert, CPS Director of Teaching & Learning praised the entire team of educators for their commitment and enthusiasm, but noted that none of the professional development opportunities or kick off events would have been possible without the generous support from the Concord Education Fund.

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