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Your Gift in Action: St. Luke’s designLab

L. Peterson
Have you ever wondered how your Annual Fund donation is being put to use at St. Luke’s? Look no further than the designLab! The designLab is both a makerspace and a program, where a wide range of creative projects and ideas come to life. Your gift to the Annual Fund helps bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of a St. Luke’s education, and that means that your gift is directly supporting the tinkerers, makers, and problem-solvers who personify the designLab motto: “Make it Better.”
As a program, the designLab provides opportunities for classroom collaboration across all grade levels. Any teacher with an interest in developing a project for their class can come to the designLab, where their idea is taken from conception to product. For example, each year Middle School French students design unique Francophone-inspired projects, under the guidance of Madame Briggs and the designLab’s Kimberly Gerardi. Mrs. Gerardi teaches design-technology lessons that are relevant to each project’s desired outcome, giving students a look into the Design Engineering process alongside deep-dive lessons about Francophone cultures–a true collaboration. 

As a makerspace, the designLab is also home to a variety of engineering courses and independent projects. These classes teach students professional skills like visual communication and portfolio development, along with more technical design skills ranging from beginner to expert levels. In the past year, demand for these classes has skyrocketed. An incredible 95 students signed up for an engineering-focused course or independent study in the 2022-23 school year alone! A recent example is Functional Sculpture, a class created by Upper School teacher Matt Goodman. In this class, students design and build custom ukuleles, and learn how to safely operate various tools in the designLab. Some skills covered in this project include digital fabrication, introductory woodshop, and portfolio documentation.

Beyond these collaborations and projects, the designLab hosts a variety of events that encourage students to bring their original ideas to life, while providing opportunities for alumni and volunteers to get involved as mentors and guides. 

There’s certainly a lot going on! 

These projects and events only begin to scratch the surface of what happens every year in the designLab (there’s even more happening in the summer!), and it is clear that this work requires substantial resources. From professional development for designLab instructors that allows them to stay current on new technology, to the parts, supplies, equipment, and maintenance needed to keep the designLab fully stocked and functioning, your gifts support innovative problem-solving in the St. Luke’s designLab. Thank you for helping students bring their ideas to life!

The designLab is ever-evolving, and the team is in the midst of envisioning new opportunities with a focus on helping students thrive now and into the future. Stay tuned for the latest innovations and news from designLab.

Learn more about designLab offerings and faculty 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.