Believing that students can be innovators, designers, and inventors who can impact the world through their gifts, Oaks Christian School is establishing an unprecedented IDEA Lab—Innovation, Design, Engineering and Aeronautics.
The New IDEA Lab Will Feature:
- 4,000-square-foot fabrication space
- 3D Printers
- Robotic Classroom
- Physics Classroom
- Electrical Engineering Classroom
- Computer Science Classroom
- Flex Classroom
- Reception Area
- Conference Room
- Faculty Core Room
“With the advent of internet search engines, it isn’t enough to recall facts and information anymore. Our students need to possess skills and talents that involve 21st century critical thinking, a curious and innovative spirit, grit, collaboration, and strong character,” said Associate Head of School for Academics Dr. Matt Northrop. “Coupled with our amazing faculty, this lab will provide our students with the space, the tools, the knowledge, and the mindset to go out and become difference-makers.”
Students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand from top-notch OCS science faculty including Amanda Turk (MIT grad), Tyler Hernandez (Cal-Poly grad), and Juan Velasquez (Berkeley and UCLA grad), as well as retired engineers, machinists and guest lecturers.
The engineering department will provide four potential pathways: aerospace and rocketry, robotics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. In addition to the amazing program that already exists in the middle school, the middle school robotics team will have access to the new VEX robotics lab.
OCS seniors will have the opportunity to create a culminating Capstone Project to identify real-world problems, develop solutions through trial and error, and then to provide those solutions to people, schools, villages, or organizations in a way that will improve quality of life.
“For example, our students can build simple but helpful prosthetic limbs for people who may not live in a place where those types of medical services are provided or cannot afford a fully-functional prosthetic limb,” Northrop said. He further envisions a schoolwide collaborative effort where the film students would travel to the village where the limb recipient lives and document the experience.
Oaks Christian aims to partner with local engineering companies and entrepreneurs to provide internships for the students, as well as expertise to the classes.
The new IDEA Lab will be housed in what was formerly the PetBest Building on Cedar Valley Road. The first phase, including the wood fabrication, metal fabrication, and robotics labs will open 2019. The second phase which includes the electrical engineering lab, computer science lab, new rocketry lab, and physics lab will open in summer 2019.