When Castilleja girls roll up their sleeves, build and create in our innovative maker spaces, they gain hands-on practice in turning abstract concepts and ideas into physical reality and prototypes.
At Castilleja, we believe that every student has the ability to design and create innovative solutions to today’s problems. By engaging in a variety of hands-on making, tinkering, and engineering projects, students hone core competencies that empower them as innovators. Such constructionist projects also drive deep learning, foster student initiative, and allow students to forge connections between academic disciplines. We are a member of the FabLearn Labs network, a project of Professor Paulo Blikstein's Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at Stanford University.
The Bourn Idea Lab is Castilleja’s primary maker space, engineering design studio, and robotics lab.
Named in memory of Doug Bourn, a former mentor on Castilleja's robotics team, the Bourn Idea Lab is a key component of Castilleja's larger vision for the 21st century. The Bourn idea Lab is outfitted with an assortment of digital fabrication equipment, traditional shop tools, and a wide variety of materials.
The lab empowers students and teachers to turn their ideas into tangible objects; emphasis is placed on prototyping ideas and engaging with the design process. Projects in the lab also allow students to continue practicing their spatial reasoning skills, which research has shown to be particularly important for girls in retaining their interest in STEAM subjects and preparing them to pursue future careers in STEAM fields.
The Middle School Tinkering Nook, opened in 2017, makes making at Castilleja even more visible and accessible to students, especially those in our Middle School.
Integrated into the main lobby of our Middle School building, the Nook invites girls to come and "tinker" for fun in a low-pressure yet dynamic environment. The creation of the Middle School Tinkering Nook embodies our philosophy of making. Hands-on problem solving, design thinking, and engineering are not relegated merely to one space on campus, but are integrated into the culture of Castilleja throughout the school.
In the Middle School, students build robots to compete in a series of challenges in the FIRST Lego League Competition. In the Upper School, Gatorbotics Team 1700 faces a new engineering challenge every year as part of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Over 30 students specialize in mechanical engineering, electronics, programming, and/or entrepreneurship and are mentored by industry professionals.
We believe that maker education is an important educational experience for all learners and would love to connect with other educators who are interested in designing making experiences to engage students. Come tour our maker spaces, participate in online communities dedicated to maker education, or join us at one of our workshops or conferences; we’d love to learn and share with you!
Designing Making Experiences
In partnership with Lighthouse Community Charter School
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 2018
In partnership with Marymount School of New York
Registration for Design Do Discover 2018 held in June at Castilleja School will open in early spring!
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.