Signature Programs


A Community of Innovators

Another way Norfolk Collegiate creates doers, thinkers and explores is through our MakerLabs. These dedicated community innovation hubs provide hands-on, innovative learning. The dedicated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) spaces are located in the lower school, middle school and upper school. Each lab is equipped with age-appropriate items to encourage students to explore their passions while also providing an opportunity for them to work with emerging technologies.

New technology and other innovative items include Osmo, a unique gaming accessory for the iPad that includes coding and tangram; Ozobot, a small, smart toy robot that empowers students to code and connect the physical and digital worlds; and Makey Makey®, an invention kit that allows them to combine art and engineering with the Internet.

The three MakerLabs, one at each division, were made possible due to the generous donors who contributed to the Fund-An-Item at our 2016 auction. As the spaces continue to evolve, students and teachers are finding ways to make the classroom more engaging for today’s dynamic students. The MakerLabs are open to Collegiate families as well.

“It teaches us new tools such as Makey Makey®, which uses electrical currents to program a keyboard. The space encourages growth in an academic area that a lot of schools don’t offer. It’s nice to see how we are broadening our horizons.”
Trafton Addison ’17

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 4 items.

  • How do pre-K through Grade 5 students use MakerLab?

    Students enjoy working together and strategizing in the space. Whether it’s making pumpkins for a holiday project or creating an engineering plan, students have access to materials and a larger space to spread out, get dirty and bring their imagination to life.

    They also are able to spend time with Osmo interacting with tangram shapes to solve challenging puzzles; use Sphero to practice coding; enjoy the Makey Makey® micro controller to turn everyday objects into programmed controllers to create music in a computer program; and they also draw code on poster boards to control Ozobots.

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  • How do Grades 6-8 use MakerLab2?

    The materials and equipment available to the students are age-appropriate. Under the supervision of faculty, students can use hand-powered tools, 3-D printers, computers and more to find solutions to their challenges. When not in class, the labs are also utilized by students for everything from designing custom jewelry to using 3-D printers to craft gifts for their family members.

  • How do Grades 9-12 use MakerLab3?

    Upper school students utilize the space for classes everything from Design Thinking & Computing courses to creating the set for the school’s theater productions. The tools and materials in the space include several types of 3-D Printers, laser cutter, vinyl cutters, heat press, compound miter saw, router saw, lots of craft supplies and so much more!

    Upper school students have used the space as an opportunity to serve as assistant teachers in MakerLab1 at the lower school and providing students the opportunity to work together with these emerging technologies.

  • How do teachers utilize the space?

    Many of our teachers have taken the opportunity to tailor class lessons and projects to encompass the MakerLabs. For example, a lower school class used the space to build dioramas of each region of Virginia using the 3-D printer and upper school physics teacher challenged his class to build a working, full-scale trebuchet in the space.
    Biology students created physical models of bacterial plasmid transformations while English students built set models using Sphero robots for “Macbeth.”

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Brendan Hoyle

    Brendan Hoyle 

    Fine & Performing Arts and Design Thinking & Computing Chair: Theater Director & Maker Education Coo
  • Photo of Melissa Economou

    Melissa Economou 

    Lower School Science Teacher
    Old Dominion University BS, MA

Tools of Innovation

The following is some of the equipment that can be found in the MakerLabs.
  • 3-D Printers & Scanner
  • Band Saw
  • Compound Miter Saw 
  • Computers
  • CNC Router
  • Craft supplies
  • Hand Tools
  • Heat Press
  • Laser cutter
  • Lego® Robotics
  • littleBits Electronics
  • Power hand tools
  • Programmable DMX controllers
  • Osmo
  • Ozobot
  • Makey Makey®
  • Router table
  • Scroll Saw
  • Sewing machine
  • Soldering Equipment
  • Table saw
  • Vinyl Cutter 

Middle/Upper School Campus

Lower School Campus