Upper Campus Innovation Center

Rippowam Cisqua School’s New Innovation Center
 
Designed by KG&D Architects
2,400 square ft space
2 workshops — 310 square ft each
Industrial look — exposed steel structure and concrete walls

Key features:
  • Large, light-filled space: The Innovation Center opens directly to a new outdoor amphitheater through three sets of folding glass doors that open like an accordion up to 14 feet wide.
  • Flexible work zones: The perimeter of the main space will have communal work benches that can be equipped with various hand tools, while the center is set up for instruction and presentations with group tables that are adjustable in height. There is enough open space to allow for a robotics test area, too.
  • Hand tools: All the power tools you would find in a wood shop, such as saws, drill press, routers, and lots of hand tools. These are great for teaching students to work with tools safely and build projects from raw materials.
  • Modern fabricating machinery: CNC cutter, laser cutter, 3D printers, vinyl cutter. These tools require designs generated on the computer so they make teaching students digital design much more rewarding and fun.  
  • Welding station: Similar to woodworking, welding allows students the opportunity to fabricate strong designs from raw materials.
  • Two additional workshops: Separated from the main space by a glass wall, here additional computer based or smaller group work can be done in a quieter setting.
The goal of the space? To create a highly collaborative environment between various subjects that encourages hands-on engagement of the students and gives them access to modern equipment.

Lower Campus Imagination Space

The School opened an Imagination Space for students in PreKindergarten-Grade 4 in the fall of 2015 – a place where creativity is sparked by weekly challenges from Director of Innovation Miles Cameron.


Daily Challenges

Miles Cameron, Director of Innovation

The goal of the new Innovation Center will be to give students a space to explore their ideas, manipulate real world materials, and test new technology. Through interdisciplinary projects, students will use the space to discover and explore the curriculum through a hands-on approach. For example, imagine a fifth-grade humanities class learning about the complex irrigation systems used by the ancient Egyptians. Now, instead of just reading about it we can ask the students to design their own irrigation system for a small window garden. They will work together to solve real-world challenges; they will make connections with the past and have a unique product to show for their effort. They may take it a step further to grow chickpeas and make hummus to share with their parents on an exhibition night! Once students have been introduced to the space we hope they will feel a desire to pursue independent projects that they can work on after school or during free periods. It will be an exciting room where ideas come together and inspire more creative thinking. You might see robots working together to build pyramids or students working together to build a trebuchet — you never know what
amazing things will happen when you give students the skills and freedom to explore their own ideas.