Greetings, makers! Over the past couple of years, I’ve enjoyed touring many of you through the Open Window School Innovation & Technology Lab in Bellevue, WA. In this post, I’d like to offer a little virtual tour for those who may not have the chance to visit in person.
Our Innovation & Technology Lab has been a work in progress for 4 years with additions and changes happening organically as we learn more about how students utilize the space.
The back part of the room houses a bank of iMac desktop computers, a whiteboard panel, a large-format color printer, our 3D printer station, and our sewing station.
At our 3D printing station, we have two Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation 3D printers set up with dedicated PC desktops so students can have full control over the 3D printing process. We also use the station for our flight simulator software and practice (which is why you see some radio transmitters sitting around). At our sewing station, we have 3 basic sewing machines, a pegboard for storage, and an ironing set.
The front part of the room has our green screen/digital film making station, soldering station, robotics station, as well as a Smartboard, magnetic whiteboard wall panels, anti-static tile floor, rolling storage bins for student projects, overhead power drops and flip-top tables on wheels.
One of our big goals was to put as many things on wheels as possible. This way, the room can be easily reconfigured to suit a wide variety of projects.
One of the questions I hear most from visitors is how I manage storage of supplies, equipment, and student projects. This has been a labor of love over the past few years, but I have a system now that is working out pretty well.
Student projects are stored in the blue, red, and yellow rolling bins that you can see in some of the previous photos. For equipment and supplies, I have a wall of cabinets. Over the summer, we replaced the shelving in a few of the cabinets with a plastic bin system.
The cabinet on the left has headphones, chargers, mice, photography/videography equipment, and art/craft supplies. The cabinet on the right has electronic components, tools, and soft circuit sewing supplies. This system keeps our supplies somewhat organized and it makes it easy for students to find what they need for various projects.
I hope you enjoyed this little virtual tour! If you are interested in an in-person tour, feel free to contact me (Adrienne), and if you have any questions you can post them in the comments below. Happy making!