The LAS Innovation Lab is a unique facility that allows students to experience the world of making with a variety of materials and tools. The lab is always teeming with creativity as students busily explore new and creative ways to learn. This semester, students are at different stages in their projects but are all preparing for a showcase next week that will display their incredible creations!
At the beginning of the semester, students were able to choose from 10 projects, including making a chess board and pieces, coasters, a dorm room sign, a desk organizer, a pillow case, a string backpack, a brain teaser puzzle, a clock, finger skateboards and cutting glass to make a cup. The goal was for each student to complete at least three projects, serving as an introduction to the incredible range of possibilities within the Innovation Lab.
One aspect of the Innovation Lab is its 'just in time' learning approach. Students acquire the skills needed for their projects only when they need them. This personalized, one-on-one teaching method develops a deeper understanding and connection to the tools and techniques used when making different projects. Learning from peers who excel in specific skills further adds to the collaborative environment, creating an effective learning experience for our makerspace students!
Central to the LAS Innovation Lab's mission is equipping students with the ability to use advanced equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutters. These tools are essential for the modern world we live in and also empower students to express their creativity in meaningful ways. Skills in digital design software like Adobe Illustrator and 3D printing tools not only enhance their overall learning but also develop problem-solving skills as they learn during the design process.
As the semester progresses, the curriculum changes to offer a more open-ended structure. In the upcoming semester, students will engage in projects based on monthly themes, like upcycling. This will encourage them to repurpose materials and think sustainably, which is a core value here at LAS.
The Innovation Lab at LAS provides a dynamic and innovative space for students to explore their creativity. The mix of project-based learning, the 'just in time' learning approach, and experience with advanced tools ensures that students not only produce impressive projects but also develop an understanding of these complex systems and tools. The Innovation Lab shows our commitment here at LAS to developing a new generation of thinkers and creators, and we can’t wait to see everything that our students have produced at the showcase next week!