Middle School Innovation Lab
Our Innovation series is focused on the skillset within our STEAM Labs, moving students through a continuum of technology-based skills that inspire comfort, confidence and creativity with technology. In 2016, Aspen’s Middle School STEAM Lab was renovated to feature 13 new stations that teach students the fields of:
- Alternative and renewable energy
- Computer graphics
- Digital communication
- Mechanics and structures
- Robotics and control technology
- Scientific data and analysis
- Software engineering
Fifth through eighth grade students in Innovation class work both an interpersonal and intrapersonal level on challenges in all of these fields. The recently renovated Tinkering Studio also provides a place for students to collaborate, ideate and innovate with tools in a dynamic building environment. In addition to these engagements, middle school Innovation students participate in engineering design challenges throughout the year. The STEAM Lab and Tinkering Studio provide spaces for students to think critically and collaborate in order to solve real-world problems. Some examples of these include rocket construction, spaghetti bridge building, balloon-powered race cars and catapult prototyping. A state of the art 3D printer and scanner also allows students to turn their ideas into reality in the Innovation Lab.
The Middle School Innovation lab is also a place for students to use technology in order to enrich projects integrated into their core classes. A work space that features 60 computers provides plenty of space and bandwidth for students to create, innovate and take their projects to the next level. For example, students in Sixth grade science class enjoy using the STEAM Lab to design and print 3D fins for their rocket launch project as they explore physics. Other students may use Photoshop or other design applications to design book covers or infographics to showcase their writing. Fifth grade language arts students design artifacts in the Tinkering Studio, then write creatively about the artifact’s origin in their “Near and Dear” project. The STEAM Lab is truly a place that facilitates the learning of all of our students on a daily basis.