FRA Innovation Labs


The state-of-the-art Upper School Innovation Lab is a 2,000-square-foot space providing a dynamic, collaborative learning environment where students are able to use hands-on experiences and technology to build, create, design, and problem solve. The Upper School Innovation Lab features multiple 3D printers, a laser cutter and etcher, VR and AR stations, drones, 3D scanner, CNC machine, two VEX VRC robotics arenas, classroom space and a full woodshop.


The Middle School Innovation Lab features 3D printers, a robotics arena, and a Universal laser cutter that can etch, engrave, and cut all materials including paper, glass, cardboard, and wood. The lab also has a Roland vinyl cutter that students can use for printing stickers and vinyl decals they have designed. The lab is also home to the middle school robotics program, which allows our students to complete at the local and national level.


The Lower School Innovation Lab is adjacent to the library and media center to allow students to conduct research in support of their ideas. Getting kids excited to propel their understanding of the things around them is the goal of this space.  Students are engaged in project-based learning, which is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. The future for the space includes a lower school robotics team starting with coding for our youngest learners, a film production club that creates a weekly production, and a tinker space where students can build.

Upper School

Lower & Middle School

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Innovation Lab News

Alumni Spotlight: David Chandler '17

David Chandler graduated from FRA in 2017 and went on to attend Valparaiso University in Indiana. At Valparaiso, David studied computer engineering and just recently graduated this past May. During his time at FRA, David was very involved with the FRA robotics team, the performing arts, as well as helping teach design thinking courses during the summers. David has bee n important in not only building our program stronger within the FRA community, but in helping us learn how to better prepare students for moving on to college.

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Congratulations to our RoboPanther Teams!

Over the weekend, our RoboPanther teams saw amazing success after competing at the State Tournament. Although our upper school team’s season ended, we are incredibly proud of all their hard work and determination leading up to each competition. All five FRA upper school teams qualified for the State Tournament, with about 70% of the team being new to robotics. Our middle school teams also performed incredibly well at the VEX IQ State Championship, with team 56123C winning the Innovate Award.

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FRA Robotics Team Captures Top Two Places at Weekend Tournament

The Franklin Road Academy robotics team, the RoboPanthers, competed in a tournament hosted by Brentwood Academy this weekend. The final round featured FRA RoboPanthers Team 97934X versus Team 97934U, with Team X winning the final competition 29-6.  

Congratulations to Team X members Caleb Huddleston (12), William Roberts (12), Addy Carroll (12), Reilly Robinson (11), and Bailey Bonde (9) for their first place finish and to Team U members Garrison Harold (12), Critter May (12), and Claire Conley (11) for their second place finish.

Click here to watch the live stream video from the tournament.

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Robotics Team Wins State Championship

On Saturday afternoon around 5:15 p.m., a roar only a group of Panther fans can produce could be heard throughout the gym at the VEX Robotics State Championship. That's because, for the first time ever, our robotics team, or the RoboPanthers as they like to be called, were crowned State Champions.

Team W, consisting of Campbell Jeffrey, Thomas Hohnholt, Addy Carroll, and Summer Vo, was the last team standing in the 42-team tournament, one that included teams from across the state vying for one of the coveted 11 upper school team spots to advance to the World Championship. 

This is the third year an FRA team has advanced to the World Championship, its first time as a State Champion. 

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DNA Lab Hosts First Classes

Our middle and upper school students now have another state-of-the-art innovative space to work in as we opened the new DNA Lab in our Math and Science Building. Middle and upper school students will utilize the DNA Lab, which will be used as a space where they can hone their skills in biotechnology, including extracting DNA, genetically modified organisms, and ploymerase chain reactions, as well as participate in crime scene investigative methods like DNA fingerprinting. 

Stephanie Feyes, science department chair and biology teacher, is excited to see what impact and influence this space will have on her students. "Biotechnology is currently one of the fastest growing areas of science and industry. It is a skilled based field of science that integrates biology, chemistry, physics, and math in a hands-on, meaningful way. Students are able to do real and original research in a school setting to develop skills that could be used in the future to help make advances in medicine/healthcare, agriculture, industry, and environmental awareness." she said.

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