Rosemont School of the Holy Child in Rosemont, PA has created a cutting-edge space to ignite the Middle School student’s curiosity.
The MAD (Media, Arts, Design) Lab has focused more on process than product by giving our students the opportunity to tinker, collaborate, and create.
By manipulating objects, re-imagining them and creating something new out of them, children develop many skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving. And when they do so in a group they develop collaboration skills. These skills are the very foundation of 21st century learning, and those which their future employers seek.
The Lab features new Mac computers, midi keyboards and recording devices, and a 3D printer (a rarity in a middle school).
But more important than the contents of the lab is what students accomplished there.
At the beginning, they learned basic programming language, java script, “the building blocks for everything that goes on in a computer,” said technology teacher Joe Savitsky. They became versed in basic wiring, circuit boards, pulleys, gears – even duct tape and glue!
Then they went to work.
For example, students tackled computer construction, robotics, electronics, coding, app development, and even game design. They developed means, for example, to use software and wiring (watch the video!) to convert human hands into piano keyboards. One group of boys even constructed a talking robot from wires, lights, and Styrofoam.
Two girls assembled a robot named Priscilla that was propelled by a motor into drawing sketches on paper. Many of our students have uploaded designs into our 3D printer, and then generated plastic models from recycled materials.
“They learn to adapt if they don’t succeed and do it better the next time,” said teacher Steve Clarke, “and that’s the magic of giving the children the chance to try and try again.”
Enjoy this video of the MAD Lab: