A laboratory school is a school operated in collaboration with a university for the purposes of developing and disseminating effective educational practices. The initial laboratory school was established by John Dewey at the University of Chicago. There are approximately two dozen laboratory schools operated in this fashion today.
The Laboratory School for Advanced Manufacturing (Lab School) was established by the University of Virginia in collaboration with the Charlottesville City Schools and the Albemarle County Public Schools. Model facilities for integration of engineering design into the K-12 curriculum were established at Buford Middle School and Sutherland Middle School. In addition, a suite of facilities were established to support this effort in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia. The Lab School is serving as an incubator for exploration of ways in which school Maker Spaces can be used to enhance both formal and informal learning.
American Innovations in an Age of Discovery
The American Innovations in an Age of Discovery initiative is a collaborative effort among the Smithsonian Institution, the Joseph Henry Project for Historical Reconstruction at Princeton, and the Laboratory School for Advanced Manufacturing. One goal of the initiative is to reconstruct and fabricate key inventions that shaped the world. This is accomplished through development of open source Smithsonian Invention Kits that permit students to understand and re-create working inventions. The goal is not to create an exact physical replica, but to reinterpret and reinvent the device using modern manufacturing technology. A second goal is for the engineering class to serve as a center for innovation and development of apparatus subsequently used in science classes. The ultimate objective is to inspire and inform a new generation of designers, and to underscore the power of new ideas rooted in fundamental principles of science and engineering. Selected inventions such as the telegraph, the telephone, and early electric motors are being digitized and made available on the Smithsonian X 3D web site (3d.si.edu/invention).