Innovation Lab

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St. Mary's Academy is proud to announce the opening of our new Innovation Lab! The Innovation Lab was funded with an initial gift of $200,000 from Paula Child, Green Tie ’69 and her husband, Mark Hammerschmitt. Their gift has inspired other donors to make additional contributions to provide tools, equipment, and professional development training of staff.  The entire SMA community is deeply and profoundly grateful to the Hammerschmitts and all of the additional donors that have provided funding for the completion of the Innovation Lab.

The SMA Innovation Lab serves as a collaborative space for STEAM students and others to engage in Design Based thinking through hands-on experiences in a combined classroom-laboratory setting. The Innovation Lab is also designed to help teachers shift academic programing to take full-advantage of this new resource for students. As a result, all SMA students will engage in multiple ways of learning, complex problem solving, critical thinking, creative collaboration, and team building where everyone has something to contribute and become innovators.

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The newly constructed space provides students with individual or collaborative workspaces. In addition, the Innovation Lab also includes a large classroom space, a project display case, and an industrial workshop connected by sliding glass doors. SMA Belles will learn and become comfortable working with power tools, 3D printers, laser cutters, a CNC machine, vinyl cutters, sewing machines, and more. The Innovation Lab is designed for use by all students. In an effort to ensure cross-curricular usage, SMA has designated a Coordinator to collaborate with faculty to design projects and incorporate curricula with usage of the Lab.

St. Mary’s Academy plans to use the space across curriculum in a variety of ways including the following:

  • World History students will craft replicas of tools from the Industrial Revolution.
  • Health Careers students will model insulin and glucose connection in cells.
  • Performing Arts Careers students will design and create costumes for the fall and spring productions.
  • Theology students will design and make models of cathedrals.
  • The Robotics Team will be able to construct new parts for the competition robot.
  • The students in Principles of Engineering will make and test scale model bridges.
  • Visual Arts students will be able to create kinetic sculptures and make frames for their artwork.
  • Media Arts students will be able to apply 2D Design to digital fabrication techniques.
  • The students in ACE Mentorship will make models of their proposed designs.
  • Computer Science students will integrate sensors to make interactive games and devices.
  • Physics students will build kinematic devices to explore the mathematical description of motion.
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The Innovation Lab is an important resource for students to obtain 21st century learning and problem-solving skills in preparation for entry to college and life beyond.

Should you have an interest learning more about educational programs and cross-curriculur usage of SMA’s Innovation Lab, please contact Christina Muraczewski, Innovation Lab Coordinator at