by Alex Feit
Several teachers and students aligned with the Innovation Lab are working on a proposal to offer an interdisciplinary Innovation and Design class for upperclassmen for the 2012-13 school year, according to English teacher and chief innovation officer Stephen Chinosi, who is helping spearhead the effort.
“This class will open the door for student involvement instead of keeping everything outside. It will tear down the walls so that students can engage with common, real issues,” Chinosi said.
Following the model of similar programs at universities such as Stanford and with a structure that is heavily grounded in design thinking, the Innovation and Design class will continue the efforts of the Innovation Lab to help coordinate student innovation and tackle real world problems, Chinosi said.
“Design thinking is what happens, one way or another, in dynamic classes that demonstrate engagement,” Chinosi said. “It gives you permission to fail and learn from your mistakes, and offers solution-centered learning with student-centered solutions.”
The class would facilitate more opportunity for students to get involved in this type of work, he added.
The Innovation Lab extracurricular program is already researching certain scientific topics and developing new technologies such as a multi-functioned wheel-chair for disabled people, Chinosi said.
Partnerships with outside businesses and initiatives to allow more students to test new concepts and ideas will continue with the Innovation Lab class, Chinosi said.
The Innovation Lab has already made collaborations with various companies to work on projects, such as Whole Foods and Legal Sea Foods, Chinosi added.
Principal Jennifer Price said that the “Innovation Lab embodies an entirely new educational model—one that relies on interdisciplinary thinking and — to help us prepare students for our ever-changing global economy.”