What do you get when you bring a 3-D printer, laser cutter, embroidery machine, and
more cutting-edge gadgets into one room? The answer isn’t a wacky science fiction plot, but the
Innovation Lab (or iLab) at Deerfield Academy! Students in HG’s “Makerspace: Creative Problem
Solving” are making full use of this resource to maximize their creativity and character this
The iLab is perhaps the closest physical manifestation of the Experimentory’s motto of
E=MC2. Providing plenty of space for uninhibited creativity (and plenty of fun gadgets to work
with), the lab invites students to challenge themselves and expand their understanding of what
it means to create. Makerspace: Creative Problem Solving features daily hands-on team
challenges that invite students to think on their feet, collaborate with others, and build things
of their own design. The most challenging part is finding the best way to use the iLab’s
resources under a limited time frame – this is where creative problem solving techniques really
start to emerge.
Today, HG’s students began designing their own decals and t-shirts using the iLab’s vinyl
cutter –an especially challenging task in that involves a number of steps. Students first sketched
their designs on paper, and after a quick peer review, their ideas were transferred into design
software. Once their designs were finalized and the vinyl cutter worked its magic, a few more
finishing touches were needed before the projects could reach their final form. The class will
show off their creations for the rest of the Experimentory early next week, but take a look at
some sneak peeks behind the scenes below.
The group provides feedback on initial designs.
Mrs. Schaffer helps with detailing the vinyl for Jnana V.’s t-shirt design.
Alex P. operates the vinyl cutter to create his decals.
Ken S. irons his original design onto a t-shirt.