To create a community of creative, collaborative, connected, self-evolving learners empowered with the skills and mindsets to make a difference
We believe that genuine learning…
Teaching Skills and Mindsets
At the core of The Idea Lab program lies the belief that school should be more like life. We believe that students should learn and practice the skills and mindsets that they will need to be successful in college and in life by going beyond the classroom and engaging the world in ways that are meaningful to them and to the larger community.
We teach a variety of core skills such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and leadership. But we go beyond this. We work with students to develop less celebrated but equally important mindsets
such as empathy, optimism, curiosity, flexibility, resourcefulness, resiliency, perseverance, self-awareness, confidence, initiative, and thoughtful risk-taking.
The Value of Creating
We believe learning is not just about thinking, but about doing, making, and creating--and not just creating for the sake of creation but to benefit others, to solve problems. Students want to engage in and contribute to their communities--whether it's their school, their neighborhood, their city, or beyond. Facilitating this connection drives intrinsic motivation and re-enforces for students what we already know: they are a tremendous asset to the communities in which they live. The beauty of The Idea Lab is its ability to not only inspire students, but to teach them the value of creating in ways that contribute to their communities, to show students that learning can mean making a difference.
A lab is a place where you experiment, try new things, fail, and try again. It is a place that doesn't penalize running into obstacles. Instead, we celebrate the genuine learning that occurs when something doesn't work, and we teach students how to learn from their mistakes, how to change course, how to--in the language of design thinking--"pivot." We believe students should fail early, fail often, and fail forward. Not only are our students more likely to better navigate ambiguity and take smarter risks, they are more resilient when they meet with adversity and more likely to persevere in the face of failure.