Creating a Strategy for the Innovation Center

The creation of the McLeod Innovation Center and fourth-floor Science Suites began with a series of discussions.Perkins Eastman facilitated a number of brainstorming workshops over a two-day period, involving Prep teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students. The goal: to develop a vision of these new state-of-the-art Xavier Hall facilities that incorporated the input of the greater Fairfield Prep Community.

STEM learning is clearly one element driving the design of the McLeod Innovation Center. However, this enterprise goes beyond the rigors of curriculum. The true goal of this project is to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit, creative thinking, and practical solutions to relevant problems.

The center will enhance the learning experience of every Prep student by creating interdisciplinary connections on campus as well as throughout the global community. The concept of innovation is both practical — fostering connections and relationships — and inspirational — driving discovery and global citizenship.

Input from Faculty and Administration

Most students do not respond best to pure “chalk and talk,” but rather to “active learning” environments. Classroom experiments keep learners active in the learning process. Effective teaching and learning of science involves a perpetual state of show and tell, not a once-a-cycle lab. Schools that combine classroom teaching with laboratory experiments ensure that their students grasp each and every concept.
— Deborah Kiel, Science Chair

Our innovation center will support faculty and student efforts on a variety of projects. Rather than leave students to their own devices to get STEM activities completed, the center will enable classes and individual students to envision, develop, and execute their work in supervised, collaborative context.
— Bob Ford Jr., Science Teacher

The new Innovation space and reimagined labs will give the Prep faculty and students access to cutting edge resources which will allow them to become more creative and collaborative. Our goal is to develop new STEM course offerings that will interest and excite our students.
— Dr. Tommy de Quesada, Principal