Programs

Innovation and Technology

Open Window School is home to two state-of-the-art Innovation & Technology Labs (ITLs) - unique multi-functional spaces where students come together to create, invent, tinker, and explore. The ITLs are hubs of student-driven innovation and provide students access to real-world tools and materials, including laser cutters, 3-D printers, electronics, hand tools, sewing machines, robotics, green screens, and more. Both ITLs are home to weekly technology classes, as well as authentic interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with homeroom and content-area teachers. 

The goals of our Innovation & Technology program are to produce students who are: 
  • Empowered Learnerwho strive to deepen their understanding, successfully self-direct their learning, effectively select and troubleshoot current technologies, and are able to act as mentors within our learning community. 
  • Innovative Designers who exhibit tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance, demonstrate ability to work with open ended projects, and stretch themselves to try new things. 
  • Computational Thinkers who effectively apply the Engineering Design Process and are able to use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to test problems and create solutions. 
  • Effective Collaborators who communicate their ideas clearly and effectively, provide and receive constructive feedback, and fulfill responsibilities to teammates in collaborative work. 

In the Innovation & Tech Labs

Grade Level Highlights

List of 9 items.

  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten technology focuses on introducing basic programming concepts to students through a collection of coding puzzles and unplugged activities. Students learn to persist through challenges and collaborate with classmates. From programming robots, to laser cutting bilingual plant markers for the school garden, to creating sticker circuits, kindergartners have many opportunities to tinker and explore.
  • First Grade

    First grade technology builds on what was learned in kindergarten and introduces more complexity. Students work individually and collaboratively on coding and unplugged activities that explore looping, events, and sequencing. First grade students also do hands-on work with robotics and design software in class, including filming and editing using the green screen and laser cutting puppets for the first grade spring performance.
  • Second Grade

    In second grade, students expand their computer science skills as they explore new programming languages and apply their algorithmic thinking skills to more complex robotics. Second graders also have the opportunity to use electronic circuits to light up lanterns made in art class, as well as practice the Engineering Design Process as they research, design, and fabricate a toy for kindergarten 'clients.'
  • Third Grade

    Third grade technology builds on earlier courses and deepens students’ understanding of programming concepts such as algorithms, while loops, nested loops, conditionals, and events. In third grade, students have access to more advanced hand tools that they put to use to build robots, one-string guitars, and more. A third grade highlight is using 3D design and fabrication tools in the construction of their own tiny homes – an interdisciplinary social studies project.
  • Fourth Grade

    Fourth grade technology is the culmination of learning in the LS ITL for students. Students continue to practice and strengthen their understanding of loops, conditionals, algorithms, and events, and move on to the creation and use of functions. In the second semester, fourth graders create and present a capstone project that demonstrates their skills and interests in computer science. Collaborative highlights include creating 3D monuments as part of a Civil Rights unit and integrating filming and editing book trailers with the Library Learning Commons.
  • Fifth Grade

    Fifth grade begins with an introduction to the MS ITL and the tools available. Advanced robotics is explored as students program virtual and physical robotics. Throughout the course of the year, students transition from block-based programming to the text-based C programming language. Fifth grade highlights include the weeklong Green City Robotics Challenge during Project Week and collaborating with science to build and run Raspberry Pi experiments on the fifth grade hallmark trip to Olympic National Park.
  • Sixth Grade

    In sixth grade technology classes, students build complex electronic circuits on breadboards and refine their soldering skills. Students apply their programming and physical computing skills to add smart features to their house prototypes during Project Week. A culminating highlight of sixth grade is collaborating with science to build and program flight computers to be launched on near-space satellites on a high-altitude weather balloon.
  • Seventh Grade

    Seventh grade students continue their study of programming and circuits as they build more advanced Raspberry Pi projects such as autonomous robots. Students apply their programming and electronics skills as they design, build, and pitch inventions to address contemporary problems during Project Week. Seventh graders also explore the Internet of Things as they build more complex and interconnected devices to be used around campus.
  • Eighth Grade

    In eighth grade, students culminate their innovation and technology experience with several authentic, real-world projects. Science collaboration includes the exploration bioengineering with brainwave-controlled interfaces and robot actuated hands. Another collaborative highlight of eighth grade is combining technology skills and American history knowledge to design and prototype an invention to further the mission of a historical reformer in the eighth grade humanities capstone project.

Meet the ITL Team

List of 4 members.

  • Maria DiGiovanni 

    Lower School Innovation & Technology Teacher
  • Cheyenne Morvan 

    Lower School Innovation & Technology Associate Teacher
  • David Hamann 

    Middle School Innovation & Technology Teacher
  • Kelly Faber 

    Middle School Innovation & Technology Associate Teacher
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.