Got Ideas? IDEA Lab Leadership Team Put into Place


Beginning in the Spring of 2016, the Hockaday’s science department will introduce a new student leadership team for the IDEA lab. Students will be given the opportunity to help maintain the space and encourage their classmates and teachers to make use of the room.

The IDEA lab, located on the third floor of the Lyda Hill STEAM Institute’s Science Center, includes state of the art gadgets and technology, including a planetarium and 3D printers. When the planning of the new science building began in 2011, the science faculty knew they wanted a space where creativity could stem from.

“Over the past two to three years, we have had a lot of conversations on how to make use of the space. It’s not exactly a classroom but we knew for sure, we wanted students to be in there,” said Dr. Marshall Bartlett, the science department head.

At some point during the conversation, science teacher Dr. Katie Croft discussed the IDEA lab space with her advisory. She noticed that all of the girls came up with great ideas that even the teachers had never thought of, and thus, the body of student leaders to help run the space was created.

The science department has a budget which helps support the building, facilities and materials. One of the main jobs for the new team will be to help manage this budget. Students will also be given the opportunity to draw up a proposal for new items, to work with faculty members to help set goals and to keep the space in good condition.

“The things students will purchase for the space will resonate in Hockaday for many years, and other classes below you will use the space in ways that you pioneered,” Bartlett said.

With a student team involved with the IDEA lab, it allows all different subjects, ranging from history to the arts, to merge with the sciences.

“This new team is another great opportunity for student leadership, but this is a unique one in terms of combining science and art and thinking about space, budget and curriculum,” said Assistant Head of Upper School Elizabeth Jones.

Applicants to the leadership team sent in their applications to Dr. Croft by Jan. 15 describing why they qualified as a member of the team, how they would manage the budget, and their ideas on how they would link the sciences to various other subjects for the use of the space.

“We don’t want all science interested students, we want folks who are creative in arts, social sciences, language arts, some science students,” Bartlett said, “we want people who represent a broad range of thinking.”

The committee that will review the applications will meet the second week of February. They will be looking for students who are organized, creative and communicative team players. Additionally, they hope to put together a broad team with members that range from different Forms and that have different interests.  The reviewing committee will be composed of members of both the science and the arts faculty, and one representative from the Upper School administrative team.

The members of the 2016 IDEA lab team will be announced at the end of February. These positions will be held for the remaining of this school year until a new application process starts at the beginning of the 2017 school year.

For questions surrounding the IDEA lab team leadership, students can contact Dr. Bartlett while Dr. Croft is on maternity leave.

Aurelia Han – Staff Writer