The Bourn Idea Lab is our school's maker lab and digital fabrication studio, where girls (and teachers!) come to tinker, build, and prototype. We have a laser cutter, a 3D printer, sewing machine, programmable microcontrollers, vacuum former, vinyl cutter, desktop CNC mill, and assorted hand tools. Oh, and lots and lots of cardboard and other prototyping materials, of course.

We are also the home of Castilleja's robotics programs, including our FIRST Robotics team, Team 1700 Gatorbotics, and our FIRST Lego League teams. We are a member of the FabLab@School network, a project of Professor Paulo Blikstein's Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University. 

What's happening @bournidealab?
Want to see what we're up to? Follow us on our Instagram channel!

Mentions & Awards

August 2015:
We were interviewed about how we collaborate with our faculty to design and develop making projects, as part of a series of Teacher Stories on the Teachers' Guild site.

May 2015:
We were asked by EdSurge to share our thoughts on the importance of making and hands-on learning in girls' education, as part of their series on "How to Build Your Makerspace."

November 2014:
We received an Honorable Mention in the category of Creative Director for the 2014 Digital Innovations in Learning Awards, sponsored by EdSurge and Digital Promise. Check out our submission video here.

June 2014:
EdSurge writes about Design Do Discover 2014, our two-day workshop on implementing hands-on learning in the classroom. 

May 2013:
We appeared in a story on KGO-SF/ABC7 about women representation at Maker Faire!

April 2013:
Associated Press interviewed us for a story about women and leadership.

March 2013:
BBC visited our lab for their radio piece "What If...the Best Education?" 

Nov 2012:
Bourn Lab wins the 2012 Rambus/KCI Innovation Award!

May 2012:
Mercury News did a feature on the opening of the Bourn Lab!

For Educators:

Join our K-12 Fab Labs & Makerspaces Google Group to connect with a large group of like-minded educators and discuss everything related to making in K-12 education!

Maker educators in the SF Bay Area may also be interested in joining a monthly meetup group (Maker Educator Meetups aka MEMs). There are currently three meetups in our vicinity: Bay Area MEM (meetings in San Francisco), East Bay MEM, North Bay MEM. To receive announcements on upcoming meetings, please request to join the appropriate Google+ Community.

We love to share our passion for making with educators at Castilleja and beyond through our professional development offerings.

Dates for the 2016-2017 school year are below:

Designing Making Experiences
(with Lighthouse Community Charter School)

August 4-5, 2016 @ LCCS
October 13-14, 2016 @ Castilleja
December 1-2, 2016 @ LCCS
February 2-3, 2017 @ LCCS
March 9-10, 2017 @ Castilleja

The Bourn Idea Lab and Lighthouse Creativity Lab are working together to offer two-day intensive professional development workshops for educators eager to integrate making into their own practice. Spend two days planning a K-12 making project or unit of your choice and leave with a project example made by you. While being immersed in a making environment, you will design, develop, test, and troubleshoot the making curriculum or project of your choice with the support of staff from the two labs. Note: This workshop can be taken for credit as part of Sonoma State University's Maker Certificate program.

More details and registration information can be found here.

Design Do Discover 2017
(with Marymount School of New York)

June 22-24, 2017 @ Marymount School of New York

We partner with Marymount School of New York to offer an annual summer institute for educators who are passionate about hands-on learning and interested in the practical implementation of these experiences in the classroom.  In particular, the focus is on integrating making projects into the daily life of a K-12 school.

Read about Design Do Discover 2015 in NYC 

Registration is NOW OPEN for Design Do Discover 2017!

Who We Are

Angi Chau

Diego Fonstad
Resident Tinkerer


Mike Cummings
Resident Engineer


Plus, our

awesome TAs!


What We Have

Laser cutter: Epilog Helix

3D printers: MakerBot Replicator 2

Vinyl cutter: Roland GX-24

Craft cutter: Cricut Explore Air

CNC mill and scanner: Roland Modela MDX-20

Vacuum former: Centroform

Programmable microcontrollers: Arduinos, GoGo Boards

Robotics kits: Hummingbirds, LEGO Mindstorms (NXTs and EV3s)

Other electronics gadgets: Makey Makey, little bits, PicoBoards, Raspberry Pis

© 2014 Castilleja School    |   1310 Bryant Street    |    Palo Alto, CA 94301    |    650 328 3160    |    Contact Us     |    Careers    |    
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