The WonderLab is Falk’s hub for learning through making.
Housed in the school’s former computer lab, WonderLab offers flexible spaces for explorations in woodworking, textiles, simple machines, electronics, programming, 3-D printing, and collaborative problem solving.
WonderLab’s curriculum spans grades K-8, linked by themes of design, drafting, and fabrication. While the lab is outfitted with equipment such as a 3-D printer, a laser, and Hummingbird robotics kits, the emphasis is on patient, exploratory learning that is hands-on, guided by students’ questions and their attempts to find answers, both on their own and working with peers.
In addition to our own curriculum, WonderLab supports a wide range of making and building projects initiated by classroom teachers and by the students themselves, and provides the space and tools for teachers to enrich and create new projects with their classes.
The WonderLab curriculum is scaffolded, beginning with questions about the traits of different materials and the importance of doing things in a certain order and building up to simple machines and how they work together. This gradual introduction to algorithmic thinking lays a foundation for students to learn computer programming in their middle-school math and science classes.
This learning lab supports the repair of stuffed animals and shoes, the prototyping of new musical instruments, and the development of manipulables and accessibility devices for learners.
Unlike a purely STEM-oriented curriculum, WonderLab strives to highlight the historical and cultural lessons afforded by physical creation. Students are asked to notice, for example, that by sewing or tying knots they are participating in ancient human traditions, and they are encouraged to connect their observations in class to the world around them. And by emphasizing hands-on learning and patient exploration, WonderLab supports the social and emotional development of our learners promoted throughout Falk School.