An Innovative Innovation Centre for Emanuel School

August 7, 2018 by Michelle Favero
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Emanuel School Board members, parents and staff joined federal Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite to celebrate the School’s new Innovation Centre and to welcome the School’s Founders.

Matt Thistlethwaite MP, helped by Rachel Turtledove, Head Madricha, fixes a mezuzah for the first time

Six of the 14 Founding Board members joined in the festivities, many reacquainting themselves with each other for the first time in many years. Owen Ratner, one of the School’s first Board members commented on how seeing the school grounds and buildings, and catching up with many of those involved in the founding of the School, had brought back lots of wonderful memories. “My feeling was one of great pride in what has been achieved. We planted the seed but those who followed have made the School into what it is today. Congratulations to the Board and the staff for their foresight and application in providing the School with such state-of-the-art facilities. Everyone involved in the School should feel extremely proud.”

Over 150 people attended the evening and mezuzah dedication ceremony. President of the School Board, Adam Blackman, acknowledged that it takes hundreds of hours of planning to get a building such as the Innovation Centre to completion. “It also takes the willingness to move beyond what is comfortable and sometimes even logical. The Centre will play a major role in welcoming and developing a generation of thinkers who will graduate to become Astronauts, Scientists, Carpenters, Mathematicians, Chefs, Engineers and dreamers.”

The Centre features 3 floors of flexible space, where students are encouraged to discover, innovate, take risks and think beyond the boundaries. It boasts an Imaginarium and Design Lab, interactive spaces dedicated to experimenting with ‘impossible’ ideas and discovering new ways of thinking, based on the Design Thinking model. The students have access to advanced technology including 3D printers, recording equipment and a Virtual Realty studio. The Food Lab features an industrial-grade kitchen, allowing VET Hospitality students to complete their course on campus. The Year 11 Hospitality students have honed their coffee-making skills with a specialised barista course.

Principal, Andrew Watt believes that the Innovation Centre will play an important part of the students’ learning journeys for many years to come. “It has been designed to provide attractive, capacious, light-filled learning spaces, with classroom configurations and break-out spaces that will promote group work, collaboration and enable project-based learning and Design Thinking to thrive.

“In the Centre, we are seeking to capture a warmer, more relaxed learning environment, that encourages student interaction and the seamless integration of technology. In this space, our teachers are moving around the room as facilitators, promoting critical thinking, curiosity and encouraging play and experimentation, and asking the ‘un-googleable’ questions!”

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