The DREAM Labs at Baldwin are spaces on campus where girls experience hands-on learning and use state-of-the-art technology and equipment.
DREAM stands for design, robotics, engineering, arts and math, and in the DREAM Lab, girls have the opportunity to explore these areas, connect them to their classroom subjects and unleash their creativity in different ways. In a word, they're encouraged to dream.
There is a DREAM Lab space in each division, and each has a slightly different approach, but they all share the same philosophy: to empower our students to solve problems with creativity, curiosity and integrity, and to prepare them for a future full of possibilities.
Click through our media gallery to see moments captured from each lab.
The Lower School DREAM Lab buzzes with activity. Students work on projects that may last a week or six weeks. Students as young as first grade learn to program robots to navigate a maze. Third graders learn about electronics by working on an e-textile project, creating skirts that light up. Fourth graders hone their design and engineering skills by using the 3D printer and other materials to create paddle boats. In doing these hands-on projects, students directly apply skills from other subjects. They use math to make good measurements and calculate dimensions for their designs. They use logic and problem solving to make sure their robot makes it through the maze. And they always tap into their creativity, whether it's by creating great graphics for a game design project or solving an engineering problem in an interesting way. Building a love of computer science begins in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten and continues throughout Grades 1-5.
By Middle School, students have acquired a solid set of logic, design and engineering skills. And now they have the opportunity to take it to the next level. Here they experience both 2D and 3D design and work with more powerful tools. Projects in the Middle School begin to come close to real-world applications. Students design and build prototypes of refugee shelters, developing their Computer Aided Design and engineering skills along the way. They have the opportunity to talk to professional game designers to get ideas while they're programming their own mobile games, and they create their own websites where they can document their projects and reflect on their work.
Students also connect what they're doing to other classes, such as Science. They 3D print parts of the cell, build wind turbines and learn about solar energy by collecting and analyzing data. By 8th grade, students take on a capstone project and, using the Design Thinking approach, create a project of their own choosing, which so far have included building social media and mobile applications, and working with robotics. Learn more about computer science curriculum in our Middle School.
In Upper School, the Computer Science classes are housed in the DREAM Lab space. The specialized equipment, including 3D printers, laser cutter, CNC machine and electronics allows us to weave engineering and design into our more traditional computer science classes. An introduction to programming can cover computer science concepts through programming robots designed and built by the students themselves. Students learn concepts such as recursion by programming graphic representations of fractals and laser engraving them onto wood. Our physical computing course combines programming and physical objects in the spirit of the Internet of Things. Student projects include pet rocks that receive tweets and respond accordingly, automated tissue dispensers, air quality detectors and plant monitors. Learn more about the curriculum offered in our Upper School.