A great way to experience Project Based Learning, and understanding our approach to education, is through our Makers’ Lab. Here, learners can work on their passion project of choice a) with professional guidance and support; b) on their schedule; and c) in a safe space with adult supervision. Open 9-5 on weekdays, the lab is always staffed with at least one facilitator and is equipped with computers, printers, and commonly used software and hardware. Available to local middle and high school students, learners can bring their passion project(s) to life in the Makers’ Lab. During the course of the project, we will get learners to use the design thinking process – Find, Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test – to successfully complete their project. Projects are typically multidisciplinary and not limited to STEM fields. Potential examples of projects are:
- Making a short movie or documentary clip,
- Investigative report based on analysis of readily available datasets,
- Creating a robot (for e.g., using Lego Mindstorm),
- Building a smart device (for e.g., using Raspberry Pi or Arduino),
- Preparing for competitions (for e.g. JPL invention challenge or LA County Science Fair),
- Developing a smartphone app or game, and
- Writing a business plan or even starting your own business.
Joining the Makers’ Lab is easy – Sign up for a free one hour meeting to discuss your child’s passion project with a facilitator. Together, we will develop a realistic plan that can be completed in 12-16 weeks with approximately 3 hours spent at Makers’ Lab and 3 hours at home. Project plans can be tailored for summer when students can spend more time to complete project in under 8 weeks. The plan/proposal will include
- clear, achievable milestone(s),
- success criteria,
- expected time/resource commitment,
- rough schedule with weekly benchmarks, and
- material needs including cost.
The project will culminate with a Presentation of Learning (PoL) where learners will showcase their work to stakeholders and document lessons learnt.
Cost is $20/hour for use of the Makers’ Lab, plus materials for the project. A group of three (recommended) can work on a project together for $50/hour each.