WonderLab: A Hub For Learning Through Making
In 2015, Falk was selected to be part of a small group of schools to partner with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Kickstarter to create a campaign for building a space for making in our school. Thanks to the generosity of parents, extended families, faculty, and community partners, Falk raised over $50,000 in the fall of 2015 to build and outfit the WonderLab, Falk's new centralized hub for learning through making.
At Falk, children (and teachers!) are making things all the time. Over the last several years, we have been cultivating a shift in mindset across our school, integrating the tools of technology into learning across all disciplines and levels. For example, in working with a visiting fiber artist, second graders built on their knowledge of electrical circuits by creating a quilted piece using conductive thread in a representation of how light is used in family celebrations.
The kind of building and exploring we value quickly extends beyond the classroom. Our children often find themselves building in the hall, in study spaces, and other nooks and corners of our building that just weren't designed with making in mind. The WonderLab will provide an exciting, vibrant hub for our students, well equipped with the technology and the tools to make Making happen!
The WonderLab was built over the summer of 2016, with the existing computer lab gutted and combined with a neighboring room to form flexible spaces for explorations in woodworking, textiles, electronics, robotics, crafting, and digital media. Our technology curriculum has expanded to incorporate learning experiences in all of these domains. The WonderLab supports the various making and building projects initiated by the classroom teachers, and provides the space and tools for teachers to create new projects with their classes.