Today on the FWSU STORY, we are pleased to share a guest post from GEMS Educational Technology Specialist Eric Hadd which was originally published on the GEMS Innovation Lab blog. We are pleased to showcase all the exciting work happening in this new space. Learn more about FWSU’s wider initiative to create innovation labs in all our schools, here and here

The GEMS elementary faculty meeting on Tuesday, December 13th was a professional learning experience in the GEMS Innovation Lab.  Teachers were invited to visit various interactive exhibits such as 3d design, paper circuits, robotics, green screen video, coding, and new multimedia creation software.  Each exhibit contained the tools, supplies, and information available for teachers to tinker, explore, and generate new instructional ideas.


Some of the interactive exhibits that were available to teachers at the open house. Collaborating with teachers is one of the main functions of the Innovation Lab program.  Mrs. Payne and Mr. Hadd both work with GEMS teachers to plan new student learning experiences using a variety of tools and resources. The main goal of the open house was for elementary teachers to see what is available and to brainstorm possible future projects that can be supported by the lab.

Teachers were asked to complete an exit ticket indicating which exhibits they visited as well as their ideas.  The tickets contained many positive reactions to the experience as well as numerous ideas.


Working with LittleBits electronic circuit components.


Programming Ozobots with color codes.

“I didn’t know what to expect – but very cool!”

“This is so cool. Thanks for hosting!”

“Need time to think about it all!”


Creating paper circuits!


Creativity with copper tape, LEDs, and batteries.

“I am booking writing, I would love some time learning KidPix 3d.”

“First graders would love to use the hands on manipulative activities!”

“It would be fun to make a 3d version of a building.”

“Using the Green screen for where in the world? – famous landmarks.”

“Hyperstudio 5 – create project displaying knowledge from non-fiction text.”

“Robotics – create a map of setting from text according to description – robot follows map in sequence of events.”


Trying out new multimedia software.


Imagining the possibilities!

If the success of this open house can be measured by interest and ideas, the event was a home run! The lab has already seen an uptick in scheduling and Mrs. Payne and Mr. Hadd are busy meeting individually with teachers about upcoming projects.

The new year is certain to be exciting and busy in the GEMS Innovation Lab!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s