“Raise your hand if you would like to go to the iLab.”
Throughout the Schoolroom, hands dart into the air, each boy hoping to secure one of the ten available slots that will allow him to spend the next forty-five minutes in our popular iLab Makerspace. The opportunity to collaborate on a new project or invention with a classmate is exciting.
Why is the iLab such a popular destination for our students?
The iLab is an incredibly stimulating environment, offering our boys a place to explore possibilities, seek solutions to tangible problems, and accomplish tasks that feel authentic and significant.
“iLab” is short for Innovation Laboratory, but it could easily stand for Imagination Lab, Inquiry Lab, or Inspiration Lab as well. Like the famous Disney World “Imagineers”, nothing limits the ideas that a boy can generate in this stimulating workspace, which is fully stocked with a vast array of tools and building materials. The room feels a little like an old fashioned hardware store merged with a futuristic laboratory: shelves chock full of bins overflowing with screws, wires, glue guns, foam core, and other mysterious ingredients sharing space with Laser cutters, micro computers, 3D printers, and iPads, all of which are at his disposal to construct his dreams. For many of the same reasons that boys in the previous century loved working in their father’s or grandfather’s workshop, the Fessenden iLab is a space that attracts them because it is completely dedicated to their own discoveries and inventions.
As we eagerly anticipate the completion of our new and improved Center for Innovation – iLab 2.0, currently under construction in the courtyard space across from the library, it is exciting to envision the unlimited possibilities of this marvelous facility for all of our students. Whether accomplishing simple tasks more efficiently, solving real world questions that impact us all, exploring complicated issues of global sustainability, or harnessing the enormous potential of developing technologies, our students’ imaginations will be unleashed and their educational landscape will expand.