Sea Crest School
Half Moon Bay, CA
School Site: www.seacrestschool.org
Sea Crest School is more than just an independent, coed K-8 school in Half Moon Bay, CA. It is a close-knit community of approximately 280 students where each student is valued as an individual, and where we strive to acknowledge and celebrate the best in everyone who spends time on our campus. Students are appreciated, encouraged and challenged within our comprehensive program. We graduate thoughtful scholars who are also conscientious citizens ready to contribute positively in high school and beyond.
Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower our learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion and lead with courage.
Our K-8 model builds an excellent academic foundation through experiential learning, innovation, technology integration, robust enrichment classes and extensive faculty professional development. Our intimate, collaborative community fosters exploration of interests and passions and builds confidence in an environment where our pupils thrive and are happy.
Description of Maker Space
The Sea Crest School Innovation Lab (iLab) is a K-8 space dedicated to creative problem solving, tinkering, design and prototyping. The industrial designed space is complete with flexible work tables, hand tools, 3D printers, foam cutters, vinyl cutters and a HandiBot programmable router. Additionally, a cart of MacBook Pros provide opportunities for vector design creation and CAD images, ready for output on the 3D printers and other devices.
Description of Program
The iLab is managed by our Art + Design teacher who works closely with teachers to design engaging, hands-on projects for students to learn the design thinking methodology and utilize the tools and resources in the iLab. Each lower school teacher works collaboratively to create integrated projects executed within the iLab. Additionally, the Art + Design teacher offers middle school explorations classes in the iLab on such topics as Digital Arts, Experimental Filmmaking and Animation and Advanced Design. We also offer a number of Extended Day classes where students design and create projects tailored to their age and interest levels.
Example of How the Space is Being Used
To foster a growth mindset and encourage flexible thinking, they spend an hour in the iLab completing design challenges, practicing the skills of planning, prototyping, and problem solving. They also focus on the act of “failing forward” by figuring out what doesn’t work, and using that information to make change.
TinkerCAD designed elements for their Community Building project.
Using digital tools and traditional tinkering approaches with cardboard, paint and recycled materials, 1st graders are working together to develop a model of a town and are strengthening collaborative building skills and exploring CAD design and 3D printed shapes and objects to be included in this model. First graders developed detailed drawings to understand the shapes that make up fire-hydrants, streetlights, trash cans, and park benches. Using TinkerCAD they developed their object three-dimensionally. They then 3D printed these objects to scale to be included in their model of a town.
Simple Machines Door stop design project:
Second Graders worked to develop a 3D printed door-stop in their Simple Machines unit. They identified the problem of their door not working with their current doorstop because the gap between the boor and the ground was too high. They then carefully measured the gap and brainstormed ways to improve and create a creative and unique doorstops. Collaboratively students developed a sketch which was then developed into a prototype using the foam cutter. This project culminated in translating their design into a CAD model that was printed in the 3D printer. Designs were then tested and voted on and are currently used as the doorstop in their classroom.
Native American animation dioramas:
Third graders began the trimester researching Native American tribes in class and learned about day-to-day life, oral history and traditions. From there they created a detailed diorama of the landscape and sculpted figures out of clay. They also developed drawings to be developed in TinkerCAD and created 3D printed tools and weapons. They then created storyboards describing a day in the life of their Native American tribe. Using their iPads they created stop-motion animation which brought this project to life in the 4th dimension. This was a project that touched on a lot of technology in the iLab building student’s foundation design approaches to then be applied to animation. It was exciting for the students to see this work come to life as an animation.
Solar system project:
Students in Third Grade are working on a series of projects in the ILAB for their Solar System unit. They have created a scale model of the Solar System and are using a motor to spin the planets in orbit. Using both paper maché and 3D printed shapes to construct the planets. Students split up in groups to become experts on one particular planet researching and drawing from observation and facts about their planet. In the Art and Design class students also created the age old animation tool, the Zoetrope. Which was created on the cameo die-cutter to illuminate animated representations of the phases of the moon. Students carefully studied the craters of the Moon for the Zoetrope project to develop a realistic representation of the phases of the moon. They also had a chance to create unique and colorful creative representations of the phases of the moon. Students are currently working to understand how light works by creating a camera obscura learning about the development of telescopes and early versions of the Camera Obscura in Astrology and Art History.
The Fourth Grade class has been working closely with the kindergarten class to develop a more organized and efficient recycling program at the School. They have been using design thinking to create new ways to share information about what is and is not recyclable to be shared with the whole school. By creating informational videos, presentations, and posters this has been a great cross-grade level collaboration for 4th graders to share an enthusiasm about recycling with the kindergartners.
We plan to continue working towards a seamless integration of the iLab space into the K-8 core curriculum. We are looking to cultivate greater comfort and expertise amongst our faculty in understanding the tools and equipment available, as well as the pedagogical understanding of how to plan for and structure iLab projects. Currently, the Art + Design teacher/iLab Manager, our Tech Integration specialist, and Facilities Manager provide mentoring and coaching for teachers on different aspects of project planning and implementation. We see the need for an additional mentor with a strong engineering background and robotics expertise to broaden the range of learning opportunities available to students.