At University School of Milwaukee, students are encouraged to explore, tinker, build, prototype, fail, adapt, dream, and innovate. This curiosity and sense of discovery is cultivated in our state-of-the-art makerspaces, where students are paired with the tools and technology they need to grow and push the boundaries of a 21st century education.
The Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration is a 2,000 square foot makerspace and project area located in the Upper School. Opened in August of 2017, the Lubar Center allows students to have a space to work on a variety of projects and with a variety of materials, electronics, metals, woods, plastics, and others. Various classes meet in the center throughout the school day to give those classes full access to the tools and equipment in the center. Upper School students are allowed to come to the center during their free periods, before school, after school, and on some weekends to work on school or personal projects. We also run several clubs and activities out of the Lubar Center, including FRC and FTC robotics.
Equipment in the Lubar Center includes:
- 3D filament printers
- 3D resin printer
- Vinyl cutters
- Laser engraver and cutter
- Hand and power tools
- Woodworking machines (planer, jointer, saws, drill press)
- Large format CNC router
- Computers capable of CAD modeling and virtual reality
- Plasma cutter
The Middle School makerspace, affectionally known as Nerdvana, is a place where students can come and explore their interests. With a wide variety of tools available, students can use laser cutters, CNC machines, and 3D printers, all the way down to common materials such as Play Doh and LEGOs. Students can tie their makerspace findings to specific parts of their learning in their core classes or just feel free to come in and noodle on a passion that they might like to pursue. Along with core classroom curricular ties, Nerdvana houses an 8th grade elective class simply called Makerspace. In this class, students learn how to use CAD software for 3D printing and laser cutting. Additionally, the Adobe suite of software is also a vital part in the Makerspace class. That is not where the learning ends in Nerdvana. Like the prekindergarten curriculum in our Preschool, the students lead the way in what it is they would like to learn. Many, if not all, of the skills that are taught in Nerdvana will translate well to the Upper School experience in the Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration.