The K-7 Thinking Lab program is designed to be vertically aligned so that experiences, practices, skills, and content build upon each other. During a visit to either Thinking Lab, one might find teachers and students using Human Centered Design practices to work through a problem, experimenting with new art materials as a tool for communication, working collaboratively to offer feedback and generate new ideas, in addition to a variety of investigative and explorative experiences.
Lower School Thinking Lab
The Lower School Thinking Lab builds a foundation for understanding the intersections and connections between art, science, and design. Students develop the capacity to think like scientists and artists, with a focus on foundational techniques and processes. Students learn to communicate through the language of visual arts, while simultaneously developing creativity, collaboration, and craftsmanship skills.
Lower School Thinking Lab Teacher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lower School Thinking Lab Teacher | email@example.com
Upper School Thinking Lab
As students engage in authentic projects and processes, they further hone their ability to see the interconnectedness of the disciplines of science, art, design, engineering, and the social sciences. Through multiple methods and experiences, students push beyond content to activate critical and creative thinking, in addition to collaboration and communication. In Thinking Lab, students apply various research, design, and scientific processes to find and solve real world issues while paying careful attention to how they as individuals fit into the complex ecology of the human experiment.
Upper School Thinking Lab Teacher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Upper School Thinking Lab Teacher | email@example.com
The Thinking Lab experience is rooted in PA standards for Environmental Science and Ecology, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the PA standards for Art and Design. Students are not only immersed in rich, place-based content, but begin to see their environment from multiple perspectives and build connections. As students build their understanding of content, and develop the thinking skills and practices emphasized in each unit, their growth is documented and assessed through interviews, rubrics, peer and self reflection and other modes. Students build a portfolio of work that tells the story of their experience in Thinking Lab.
Students have the opportunity to make and create, revise and iterate, discuss, dissect information, research, engage in their local environment and community, record data, synthesize their thinking through project work, and engage daily in higher order thinking experiences and protocols to envision a process, not only a product. An emphasis is placed on the practice of using art and design to communicate and problem solve, and engage with science content in a deeply meaningful way.
Thinking Lab encourages ECS students to be creative, collaborative thinkers who are place conscious and systems thinkers. Through a variety of methods and projects, students begin developing and reflecting upon the identity of an artist, scientist, designer or engineer and explore the intersection of these disciplines. Students learn to be ambilingual as they investigate how artists find ways to communicate about the world around us.