New State of the Arts Learning Labs
Dr. Robert I. Shaps
Superintendent of Schools
As we look towards the month of June and the subsequent summer months, we are thrilled about the capital project work that will take place at four out of our six schools. For now, though, I want to take a moment to share my excitement about a couple of the initiatives underway at Mamaroneck High School as a result of the community’s support of the 2019 capital bond.
During the school break we broke ground on two state-of-the-art learning labs: Our new STEM Lab (referred to as the MHS CoLab) and the Culinary Arts Lab. Both of these learning labs support a shift in today’s educational environment to more flexible learning classrooms, affording students the opportunity to collaborate and discover their own individual paths. We are grateful to the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation for providing grants to fund equipment for these new spaces.
Mamaroneck High School STEM Lab
The new STEM Lab will support the innovative engineering, design, and computer science courses at the high school, helping to promote learning by doing and deepen students’ curiosity and interests through real-world applications.
The new space is centered around a large Design Studio that provides an open collaboration space for group learning, flanked on one side by “Think Tanks” for breakaway learning.
Folding partitions open into the adjacent Prototyping Lab to create a unified learning environment; the Prototyping Lab will have group worktables, solo work areas, interactive display panels, and state-of-the-art additive and subtractive modeling equipment.
New Metal and Wood Shops are equipped with the newest technology, including a plasma cutter and computer numerical control (CNC) machine, allowing students multiple outlets for hands-on creation.
Mamaroneck High School Culinary Arts Lab
The new Culinary Arts Lab will support the growing Culinary Arts curriculum, enabling students to learn contemporary culinary techniques. The lab is designed to mimic a commercial kitchen as seen in modern restaurants and food service venues and allows students to become acquainted with the professional type of equipment used in these kitchens.
The layout includes a teacher’s demonstration station with a video feed to monitors adjacent to six kitchen learning stations. These monitors will aid the students in seeing close-up cooking techniques without having to leave their individual stations.
Adjacent to the instructional area is a multi-purpose space that opens up into the kitchen with a large movable glass partition. This area will serve both as a classroom/meeting space for use in student instruction as well as a dining/cafe space allowing guests to sample the student creations by means of a new exterior door leading directly into the space.
The glass partition between the kitchen and cafe provides for flexibility, opening to expand the instructional space around the teacher demonstration area or staying closed to create a large window allowing the kitchen to be visible from the café – similarly to many modern restaurants.
Both of these new labs will offer lessons in a fun, invigorating atmosphere that encourages students, exposes them to potential future careers and undoubtedly fuels passion. Construction will continue this summer for both of these new spaces.