Thursday, November 21, 2019

Inspired by Innovation Center at St. Vrain Schools #STVRAINSTORM

Many of you know that each Fall, we  leave Vermont  in our 1983 bus (BELLA) in search of inspiration, creativity and creative convergences.  This weekend, I flew out to Denver to  join Craig and Bella who had left a few weeks earlier. The bus was parked between Denver and Boulder waiting for me to join them before we journeyed towards the Southwest.  Due to some unfavorable weather patterns, we decided to stay in Denver a few extra days.  This gave us time to follow up on a tip, we got from Shelby at Sparkfun, that there was some really cool stuff happening in the St. Vrain Valley School District.

 So we scraped the ice off the car and went to check it out for our selves.
We were not disappointed! 

Upon arrival at the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Schools, we were greeted by Colin Rickman @mrcolinrickman who gave us a tour of all the learning spaces in the building from the well equipped labs and future ready classrooms, to small nooks eloquently designed to provide spaces that met the needs of all types of learners.   Everywhere we looked we saw unique spaces, from nooks and corners to escape with your computer and conduct independent research to collaboration  booths with whiteboards or monitors to airplay your computer screen. 

The building also had beautifully designed spaces for
both small group and large group presentations.
The Ptich room includes a conference style table which seats about 20 and is the home
of many design team pitches as well as in house meetings. 

This open presentation space is used for school, as well as  community events. 

Sliding garage doors that also transformed into tables and whiteboards.

Lockers that serve as whiteboards.

Creative thought and design thinking opportunities everywhere.

Need a whiteboard or a table for designing thinking? They've got your covered either way!

Visiting on a day when students and faculty are out of the building a a bit of a bummer, but the blessing in disguise is that we got to freely walk in and out of high tech classrooms in awe by opportunities in both tools and programming available to the students of St. Vrain.

The absence of students today gave us freedom to walk in and out of many classrooms.

Robotics competition spaces

soldering stations with fume extraction

one of several laser cutters in the building

Heavy duty vinyl cutters

And for your SERIOUS 3D printing needs

with the Lulzbot factory nearby we were not surprised by the Taz 3D printers

heat press

fabrication tools from laser cutters to 3D printers and more

large format printers

wash stations for easy clean up of you or your 3D prints

Whoa! an underwater robotic fish tank!

and with Thanksgiving around the corner, every turkey needs a rescue drone!

Towards the end of our tour, we walked into a room labeled "makerspace" filled with accessible materials for all ages. The room had an outside entrance next to a place where a bus could easily drop off students from area schools to come and create, make, and learn.  For those of you who are curious about materials organized in other makerspaces -- check out these clearly labeled bins! 

And your gotta have 
popup green screen tools

duct tape

and legos!

We saw lots of evidence of Design Thinking throughout the space

A few other locked classrooms and spaces gave us insight into the breadth and depth of learning opportunities for St. Vrain students included the biotech lab and multimedia rooms as we walked by.

Unfortunately the St. Vrain Schools mobile bus we had hoped to see was not parked nearby, 
but then again neither was ours!
So we'll have so experience it through TWITTER until we come back into town!

The Future-Ready Innovation Lab
The ST. VRAINNOVATION Future-Ready Innovation Lab is a cutting-edge mobile innovation center in a mobile, highlighting the best of public education in

So instead of Colin, Craig, and I exchanged stories of how our respective mobile makerspaces got started and how we use them to engage teachers and students to create, make, and learn! 

The only other thing that could have made the visit better was to come on a day when students were in the building! Meanwhile, @techsavvygirl will  keep an eye out for them on Twitter  @ICSVVSD 

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