Sewing and wood cuts and lasers, oh my!

Students explore creative outlets with Schilling design labs

Students+and+faculty+learn+how+to+use+the+drill+press.+

Isabel Gisser

Students and faculty learn how to use the drill press.

Isabel Gisser, Production Manager

Three weeks into the 2018-19 school year, the new Schilling Center for Math and Science is buzzing with activity. New classrooms have been moved into and projects have been started, but few students know about all the resources available to them. Upper School Design and Innovation Specialist Kirsten Hoogenakker aims to familiarize the SPA community with the new technology the Schilling Center offers.

“We are ready to train students in on using the MakerBot 3D Printers and the Laser Cutter. We also have sewing machines and other crafting and soldering equipment ready to go. In the coming weeks, I anticipate getting students started in the Wood Shop, which includes drill presses, a variety of saws, and a CNC Router, as well as creating designs for the Vinyl Printer and Cutter we have in the space as well,” she said.

The wide variety of equipment housed by the design labs is targeted towards the entire student body, not just students interested in STEM. Students with any interest and level of experience are welcome to join training sessions.

My vision is for students use this space to maximize their creativity with academic projects, to build community in clubs or advisories, and for their own personal growth and enjoyment.”

— Kirsten Hoogenakker, US Design and Innovation Specialist

There’s no prior experience required to come in and get trained in on some of these tools, and I want the process to be approachable. I’m trying to keep them short, sweet and tailor them to each student’s needs,” said Hoogenakker.

All training sessions are currently at an introductory level and will increase in complexity as the year goes on. Following completion of training, students will receive a certificate which will hang on the walls of the new space. Hoogenakker hopes that every student in the Upper School will use the design labs a handful of times throughout their high school careers.

The design labs offer students a space to pursue any creative project or interest, and their function will continue to evolve as the SPA community becomes more acquainted with the Schilling Center.  

“My vision is for students use this space to maximize their creativity with academic projects, to build community in clubs or advisories, and for their own personal growth and enjoyment. In working with department chairs and individual teachers, these spaces will be used for certain classes throughout the year as well,” said Hoogenakker.

Training workshops are being held during tutorials in room 4115, and the students interested in learning about the new design labs can fill out the Google Calendar to sign up.