The Innovation Lab at Centennial Elementary School enhances student learning by helping them develop transferable skills, and providing support to a broad range of content areas. Students explore science in ways that utilize collaboration and critical thinking skills, all while incorporating language arts, social studies, and other areas of study. During a student’s weekly visit to the Innovation Lab, they may participate in a variety of learning experiences that help them become solution seekers, collaborators, and innovative thinkers. “I genuinely enjoy teaching in the Innovation Lab – not only does it enhance my teaching experience by providing new challenges each day and strengthening my ability to plan and deliver effective instruction, it allows me the opportunity to try new things and make mistakes,” shared Sarah Larson, Innovation Lab Teacher.
During their time in the Innovation Lab, students can engage in challenging and interesting standards-based STEM learning experiences, with an additional emphasis in developing an innovator’s mindset. Students can learn how to examine and define real-world problems, develop questions and conduct research, and present their findings in an organized way.
“We are fortunate to have two 3D printers, a TeacherGeek Makerspace Cart with thousands of components, several different robots (Dash & Dot, Cubelets, Spheros, Mini Spheros, and Blue Bots), MergeCubes, and many reusable building materials,” shared Larson. Once a month, students have the opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind philanthropic event learning experience.
“At Centennial Elementary, we want our students to know that they are capable of making a large impact on our community through developing empathy for others, sharing ideas, and accomplishing subsequent actions – Centennial Cares is one way to allow students to voice their concerns and ideas while becoming more proficient at collaborating and using the design thinking process,” shared Larson.