East Coast: Programming and Master Planning

By: Raphael Adamek

Throughout our master planning process we’ve been considering the programmatic and facilities changes which will help us provide a 21st century education to our students. The value of working of programming and facilities simultaneously is illustrated by the creation of the Eureka Lab at the Meadowbrook School in Weston, Massachusetts.

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As you walk through the main entrance of the Meadowbrook School the Eureka Lab is directly in front of you. Meadowbrook believes that the heart of learning is creation and discovery, and the position of the Eureka Lab is no accident. The Eureka Lab is both the literal and philosophical core of the Meadowbrook School.

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In the Eureka Lab students from Pre-K to 8th grade use tools and resources to work on projects that are meaningfully interwoven throughout the curriculum. From Pre-K students designing their Dream Car to 7th graders reading Macbeth and creating a garment for a character in the play, the Eureka Lab is used by all students on a wide variety of projects.

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While explaining the history of the Eureka Lab, Jonathan Schmid described the value of implementing the programming before the physical space was ready. As a result, when the Eureka Lab opened teachers were clamoring to use the space.

I see some similarities between how the Meadowbrook School created their Eureka Lab and how the WUHSMS is building their Innovation Lab. In both cases the programmatic changes occurred first and generated interest among students and staff. Although we are early in our master planning process, by implementing these programmatic changes first we have the opportunity to immediately give our students meaningful project based experiences and to help have the programming inform our facility planning. Together these programmatic and facilities changes could lead to an incredible educational opportunities for our students.