Engineering and Design Lab
Developed to spark innovative thinking, Greenwich Academy’s Engineering & Design Lab allows students to take ideas from concept to completion, engaging them in the process of building something from the bottom up. Here, principles in engineer, design, and computer science come together and come to life for our girls. They are challenged to solve problems, experiment with new ideas, and learn from their mistakes.
Use of the lab has been integrated into the curriculum of classes of all disciplines, across all divisions as a means to developing the girls’ problem-solving and spatial abilities. Students from the Upper School research seminar can be found using electronics, microcontrollers, and fabrication machines to advance their research. A highlight in the Middle School is an elective where students develop their 2D and 3D understanding through architectural building and drawing, and CAD programming for 3D printing. Lower School girls discover engineering and design principles, and solidify their understanding of the material world through hands on processes like woodworking and mold making.
The lab is equipped with 2D and 3D computer-driven machines that perform their functions through the use of CAD software. The 2D machines include the laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and large format printer. Students seeking to design and output directly into 3D have access to two 3D printers, a milling machine, and the ShopBot, a computer driven router. Girls are taught to use age-appropriate computer applications with these lab machines including 2D vector design programs like iDraw on the iPad for younger girls, Adobe Illustrator for Middle and Upper School, and 3D modeling software like 123D Design and Rhino.
During the school day, the lab is buzzing with the activity of students and teachers working on class projects. After school, the machines are still humming as our robotics teams use the space to build and test their competition robots, often designing and manufacturing custom parts. The lab is also home to our Maker’s Club, a group of students that comes together to “tinker.” Whether they are soldering together a wearable art creation, wiring up an Arduino project, or assembling a Rube Goldberg machine, club members imagine, design and build.