Looking Forward: The Unveiling of the designLab

As the 2014-2015 School Year draws to a close and students happily welcome summer with open arms, the Science Department is preparing for a large change as its Department Chair and physics teacher Michael Mitchell shifts to a new position as head of the designLab, which is being unveiled next school year.

IMG_4632        The new lab consists of Mr. Mitchell and a new hire, tasked with teaching all engineering, computer science, and digital imaging courses for Upper Schoolers. In an interview, Mitchell described his hopes for the new department: “The first thing I’m most excited about is working more with the middle school. Part of my job in the new lab is to make sure teachers and middle schoolers who haven’t had the opportunity to work with things like a 3-D printer, get that opportunity to do so.  A lot of the courses involved in the designLab are not age dependent, which is going to open up a lot more opportunity because you don’t need to be a sophomore or have taken a particular class in order to take a course in the designLab. Secondly, I am most excited to also offer some fun and exciting new types of courses. The engineering and robotics courses next year are going to operate very differently from a traditional course, in that there aren’t going to be any grades, but rather you are finished with the course when you have shown a certain level of mastery.”

        Mr. Mitchell’s last comment surprised and intrigued me, given that SLS has never had a course with such a grading rubric. The new science building has proved itself to be a harbinger of the dramatic change in the layout of department as a whole, as Mrs. Jochem takes over as head of the Science Department next year, Doc Warner fills Mr. Mitchell’s shoes in the field of Honors and AP Physics and a new hire takes Dr. Warner’s place in all physics classes. As we reluctantly give up Mr. Mitchell to the Design Lab and say goodbye to Mr. Sanderson, who is going to the Military Medical school to train to be a Navy doctor, we will also ring in the 2015-2016 school year with new teachers, new courses, and new opportunities that will change the way we study and explore science at SLS.  

Posted by on May 28, 2015. Filed under School News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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