What Can You Find in the Ciongoli Center for Innovation?
As a key resource integrated into our curriculum, the CCI is a true differentiator among other day and boarding schools in New England. Fessenden's Director of the Ciongoli Center for Innovation, two full-time Innovation Coaches, librarians, and faculty work together to guide the boys' innovation journeys in a 2,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility. In the CCI, the boys explore and are inspired by tools, technology, and designated spaces, including:
A machine room
(a.k.a., “The Shed”)
Who Uses The CCI at Our Independent School?
Everyone! The CCI is rarely empty and almost never quiet.
All Fessenden students, no matter their grade level, use the CCI to learn and hone the skills of creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.
Innovation coaches work with Lower School boys mostly in their classrooms; however, projects like coding call for a visit to the CCI, as does the use of age-appropriate tools to support their project-based learning objectives. The Extended Day Program also offers an innovation club for our younger boys after school, giving them additional exposure to the possibilities of innovation in this unique space.
Middle School students all take our foundational innovation courses: CCI Bootcamp and CCI Middle School Makers. Beginning with Bootcamp and through a series of innovation challenges, the boys progressively learn about the space and resources, complete safety training, and earn a "license" to use each tool. In Middle Makers, the boys use these skills and knowledge to tackle more advanced design challenges that are driven by their own interests.
Upper School students can take a series of elective innovation classes in the CCI that develop technical skills in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Following the studio model for learning, Upper School students have the freedom and confidence to explore different ideas that augment their core academics. Whether it's for an assignment or to pursue a personal interest, the CCI provides Fessenden boys an opportunity to follow their curiosity and engage in authentic learning that has real-life implications.
More Than a Makerspace
The CCI is a magnet for innovation at our day and junior boarding school, drawing students to the space to engage in hands-on projects. But it's also a beacon, inspiring an innovative approach to teaching and learning within Fessenden's curriculum. The boys begin each project in this space by bringing at least three ideas to the table.
The faculty in the CCI are experts in project-based learning and serve as consultants and coaches for Fessenden students and teachers. The entire school community benefits from Fessenden's long standing partnership with NuVu and their studio approach, which encourages open-ended learning, iteration, and interpreting and incorporating feedback.
When our boys move on to secondary school, they take with them the skills they've learned through their experience in the CCI. Whether their next school has similar resources or a more traditional focus, Fessenden alumni bring this methodology with them, often sparking innovation there and beyond.