SSL Certificate

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 FabLearn Labs 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 & Recognitions

January 2017:
NAIS Inspiration Lab featured the Bourn Idea Lab and highlighted two of our projects in the short article "From Ideas to Prototypes: Hands-on Projects Cultivate Design Mindsets."

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!

The Bourn Lab Team

Angi Chau

Mike Cummings
Resident Engineer

Diego Fonstad
Resident Tinkerer

Emily Clark
Bourn Lab / Tinkering Nook Instructor

Plus ...

our volunteers,

student TAs,


Bourn Teacher Fellows!


For Maker 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.

Designing Making Experiences
(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.

Dates for the current school year and registration information can be found here.

Design Do Discover 2018
(with Marymount School of New York)

June 21-23, 2018 @ Castilleja

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 more about Design Do Discover 2016 in Palo Alto & Design Do Discover 2015 in NYC - thanks to D3 coach Lindsey Own for writing about all the projects!

Registration for Design Do Discover 2018 will open in early spring!

What We Have
Main Lab:

Laser cutter: Epilog Helix

3D printers: MakerBot Replicator 2, Flashforge Creator Pro

Vinyl cutter: Roland GX-24

Craft cutter: Cricut Explore Air

CNC mill: Othermill

Vacuum former: Centroform

Physical computing: Arduinos (with Grove shields), Hummingbirds (Classics & Duos), Makey Makey

Robotics kits: LEGO Mindstorms (NXTs and EV3s)

Other electronics gadgets: lectrify, littlebits, PicoBoards, Raspberry Pis


Middle School Tinkering Nook:

3D printers: Printrbot Simple Metal

Craft cutter: Cricut Explore Air

Electronics: littlebits Pro Library

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