The Innovation Lab is an interdisciplinary creative space for builders, designers, problem solvers, and anyone interested in exploring what the space has to offer. Outfitted with advanced technology, the lab provides a hands-on experience allowing students to invent, create, collaborate, and innovate at their own pace, without the restrictions of deadlines, time limits, or a grade being attached to their work. Students enjoy the freedom to discover their passions and develop their skills at a pace that is natural to their individual learning style. The goal is to provide students with access to machines, software, tools, and collaborative peers who will advance their knowledge in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) disciplines.
The main lab area, located in the rotunda of Lynch Hall serves as the primary Innovation space for designing, prototyping, and testing. There are several whiteboards for initial brainstorming and rough draft design, and two 65-inch touch-screen computers with design software and a digital whiteboard interface for further development, recording, and sharing of ideas. Our laptops are equipped with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for 3D modeling and digital prototyping as well as the full Adobe suite of design software. Students can send their digital designs to one of our 3D printers or laser cutters/engravers. The 3D printers allow for rapid prototyping so students can test their designs, get peer feedback, and then re-design, re-print, and re-test until they generate a finalized design. The Lab encourages students to focus on their process, not just the results, so there is a photo station in the lab for students to document and record their design and fabrication process from beginning to end. These photos are automatically saved in the lab database, equipping each student with a digital portfolio of their work throughout their time at St. Sebastian's.
The second facet of the Innovation Lab is the machine room, located in one of the Science Department’s dedicated project rooms. This space is currently equipped with a vertical band saw, a drill press, a much larger and more powerful laser cutter/engraver than the one in the main lab, a liquid resin 3D printer which produces a print with much higher definition and detail than the 3D printers in the rotunda, and a 3 axis CNC milling machine. This is an area where a student can take his finalized and test-proven design and fabricate a finished part out of stronger materials like metal.
We’re giving students the tools and knowledge and experience that they need to go do whatever it is that they want to do. I’m here to guide them, but it’s an open space.
MATT BURKE, Innovation Lab Director