High School Innovation Lab
Learning environment for Los Angeles charter high-school
Northrop Grumman Corporation, 2010
El Segundo, California — One of my first opportunities to work with STEAM students was through a Northrop Grumman sponsorship with Los Angeles-based Da Vinci School. I was given the opportunity to design and lead the installation of a high-school innovation center. The photos below show the completed installation and I've included some of the development sketches used in the early design meetings.
The Information Booth is centrally located and serves as the administrative help desk and print center for the entire lab. Students can check out iPods, Kindles, and Notepads, as well as print and copy their projects and sign up for various activities in the lab. We had a Chandra model already built from a previous trade-show so we hung it front and center.
The Design and Simulation Center is a math and science-themed area. It contains the Lab's most powerful desktops for running experiments, reviewing science data, constructing models, and creating cell phone apps. Students can rotate their chairs for presentations in Collaboration Corner, or just glance up at the overhead screens while working on their projects.
Collaboration Corner serves as an assembly area to watch videos and deliver presentations. The space is designed to stimulate collaborative thinking and brainstorming. The screens in the area are Direct TV ready, but can be switched to display any of the desktops or laptops in the room, so students can present their desktop projects to the entire class, or the monitors provide live feed to Northrop Grumman where mentoring engineers can teach a class remotely. The large touch-screen, front and center, serves as a focal-point where videos and tutorials can be demoed.
The Research and Development Lab is where students go to research projects, find information, look up various historical facts, and basically surf the web and watch TV. There are cool tables and bean-bag chairs scattered throughout the area where the students lounge about and conduct research at the beginning stages of their projects.
Project Place provides a full photo and video production lab where the students film interviews and journal entries, edit video footage, and literally produce a final video presentation of their projects. Project Place is lined with green screens for dropping out backgrounds, and provides a model-stage for shooting prototypes, consumer products and project examples.
Initial development sketch of what the Information Booth might look like. I produced these with a standard Bic pen on traditional 8.5" x 11" printer paper. I added the blue wash in Photoshop to match the Northrop Grumman Power Point slide template that the Executive Producer used to present the concepts.