Franklin Road Academy Unveils State-of-the-Art Innovation Lab, Announces Partnership with MNPS
FRA and Mayor Megan Barry officially opened impressive makerspace Thursday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 10, 2016) — On Thursday, Franklin Road Academy and Mayor Megan Barry officially opened the Innovation Lab, a 2,000-square-foot space dedicated to innovation and experiential learning, featuring state-of-the-art equipment including two 3D printers, laser cutter, robotics arena, and 3D carver.
In her remarks, Mayor Barry emphasized the importance of innovation. “Educators have to be innovators. In 2017, the best education incorporates experiential learning, working in teams and those critical thinking components.”
FRA also formally announced a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools. The inaugural Summer Innovation Institute will bring students and teachers from JT Moore, Croft, and Oliver middle schools to work alongside FRA’s students and teachers to create, build and innovate during three separate weeklong summer sessions.
“It makes me incredibly happy that FRA is opening the Innovation Lab to our public school students. The fact that our MNPS students are going to be able to come here for summer camps--what a gift," said Mayor Barry. "It's a timely and a much-needed partnership for Metro because we are focused on reforming our middle schools right now to ensure they have the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) disciplines. As a city we have to connect our technology students so they graduate with industry certifications and can go onto college and be successful. Thank you to Franklin Road Academy for opening your doors to our Metro students so they can experience this amazing Innovation Lab. I look forward to many other things we can partner on together as we move forward.”
The Innovation Lab will serve students across FRA’s Pre-K-12 campus – from growing the popular lower and middle school robotics programs to innovation classes and upper school robotics and Science Olympiad competitions.
“Whether building robots or designing a hover craft on a 3D printer, we hope this space inspires our students to consider what is possible and bring it to life. Today in this space they are building a robot for a competition and using laser cutters and 3D printers for printing parts for their innovation projects. Tomorrow they may be printing human organs for transplant or building and programming robotic arms to conduct brain surgery on young children with laser-guided precision as they work with colleagues around the globe to solve the challenges of their time,” said Sean Casey, FRA head of school.
To view photos and video of the Innovation Lab opening, click here.
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