CA Labs: Science Center Renovation

Science is a dynamic, changing field. CA’s educators have long been developing methods of teaching that put the tools of learning into students’ hands. As faculty members build on this strength, the pedagogy calls for a science center that reflects this spirit of discovery, a building that serves as a beacon for science and as a teaching tool itself. The science wing will be renovated in a manner that will support the rigor of the curriculum, allowing CA’s educators to deepen and grow this aptitude, which has been a focus for much of the school’s history.

DRIVING GOALS

  • Add flexible, multidisciplinary classroom spaces
  • Increase the visibility of the sciences
  • Create a building that is itself a learning tool

  • Establish a dedicated fabrication lab
  • Facilitate connections with the MAC and the main building
  •  Renovate to environmental sustainability standards

Buildings as a Learning Tool

Imagine a green architecture course that would expand upon Chris Rowe’s architecture and Gretchen Roorbach’s environmental-science classes. Offered for credit in both science and visual arts, a green architecture class might begin with an investigation in the field, with visits to the Genzyme headquarters in Cambridge, for example, or Concord’s neighborhood of net-zero-energy homes. Back on campus, a multi-use classroom would offer the option to meet either with the full class to interact with guest architects, or to gather in smaller subgroups, where students could hammer out solutions to real-world problems. Participants would learn to navigate CAD software in a multimedia lab, then assemble prototypes of their final projects in a lab furnished with expansive tables, construction tools, a 3D printer, and of course an ample supply of cardboard and hot-glue guns.

Imagine further if CA’s buildings could offer learning opportunities in their own right, with sustainable features like a green roof or passive solar systems available for close-up student exploration. Our teachers are already thinking about the ways in which their courses could expand in spaces that are as adaptable as our thinking. With these ideas and ambitions already in place, physical upgrades will serve as the spark for the fire of creativity.

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CA LABS: Science center renovation

DEMONs Advocate

Students in the DEMONs group (which stands for dreamers, engineers, mechanics, and overt nerds) have elevated their extracurricular contributions to considerably engineered heights: Among many other projects, they have built a hovercraft, a robot, and a system that delivers river-depth measurements from the banks on campus and transmits them to the web… READ FULL STORY

MORE STORIES

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BETA Testing

Within the first weeks of CA’s inaugural engineering course, the Science Department’s Amy Kumpel distributed shoe boxes to her class containing the following items: scissors, pliers, wire cutters, jumper leads, a three-volt motor…READ FULL STORY

Pure Genius

Pure Genius

Students visited Pure Genius, a startup focusing on hyper-local hydroponic farming. Under the leadership of Sonia Lo ’84, Pure Genius is growing rapidly, and in speaking with Lo and her team it’s easy to understand why: Pure Genius is innovating at the intersection of powerful changes in America’s economic, environmental, and social trends… READ FULL STORY

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CA Labs Groundbreaking

Rain did little to dampen the festivities on Friday, October, 2, at the unveiling of create + innovate: The Centennial Campaign for Concord Academy. The groundbreaking ceremony for the CA Labs science building — the kick-off of the campaign and its first major capital project — was all about envisioning the evolution of teaching and learning…. READ FULL STORY