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designLab Hosts Visiting Scholar Natacha Alpert

By: Jim Foley, Assistant Head of School for Leadership & Innovation
St. Luke’s designLab is a makerspace and program that develops students’ creative problem-solving abilities through engineering and design thinking studies and play. DesignLab faculty see the space as a hub of innovation and are always asking themselves, what else is possible? To prepare for the next stage in our evolution, St. Luke’s will invite outside scholars, innovators, and consultants to visit with us, teach us, and engage in dialogue about these spaces, classes, and programs.

Last week, St. Luke’s designLab hosted Natacha Alpert, its first visiting scholar. As an innovation specialist, Alpert’s work focuses on linking iconic brands to advance innovation concepts. She is a mentor at the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and an adjunct professor at Washington University’s McKelvey School of Engineering, where she teaches about emerging technologies including disruptive and sustainable technologies, 3D & 4D printing, 3D scanning, nanotechnology, generative design, blockchain, and more.

During her visit, Alpert met with various faculty and staff, including members of the administrative team, science department, designLab, admissions, and Learning & Technology team. She attended the Senior Scholars Symposium and observed Middle and Upper School designLab classes and clubs, including our designLab Foundations, Mechanical Design, and Makers Club. Alpert also presented to Upper School students at the Center for Leadership’s Lunch & Lead.

During the Lunch & Lead, Alpert helped guests see the link between a design lab and a shoe store as she shared details about her work in the fashion and footwear industry, where she develops disruptive and sustainable technologies. Students and faculty who attended the session were captivated as they learned about the emerging technologies of biomimicry, 4D printing, and 3D scanning and how businesses value these tools. Attendees got a powerful look at how emerging technologies will have a major impact on careers of the future.

Alpert’s visit was just the first step in the next stage for St. Luke’s designLab. We look forward to welcoming additional visiting scholars soon.

For photos from Alpert’s visit, click here
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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.