iLab Projects

The Wornall campus iLab is an interactive room students and faculty from the early childhood school and lower school can use to enhance their learning. The room features an Apple TV-connected TV, which faculty and students can connect to using their iPads; a "green screen" wall used to create videos; Legos used to create robotics and dry-erase white board tables students can use to draw or write.

Tiffany Kelley ’96, Wornall campus technology coach, gushed about student projects that originated in the new Pembroke Hill iLab last year.  She explained that children in the early childhood and lower schools have had exceptional experiences in technology. 

Several activities stand out in Tiffany’s mind, from second graders developing videos, accessible by QR codes, that feature Kansas City landmarks to early years children learning about time-lapse and stop-motion animation through dance.  “The iLab has really spurred ingenuity and inventiveness,” she said.

The vision for the iLab took root as a logical outcome as the model for computer labs was changing with the advent of iPads and the growth of STEM-based learning.

“In 2014, we, as a division, identified technology integration as an important initiative,” lower school principal David D'Ercole said. “We formed a committee of faculty and staff to analyze other schools and best practices.  By the end of the year, we realized we wanted to create an environment where technology and engineering would meet.  But our philosophy was always prioritizing student learning over items we would eventually put in the lab.”

David and Tiffany, along with former director of instructional technology(and current middle school principal) Brian Bartelli, traveled to several independent peer schools, including ones in Atlanta and Tampa, to learn more about technology spaces/makerspaces and how to develop Pembroke Hill’s technology classroom.

They found creative spaces with green screens, 3D printers and tables and chairs on rollers. David, Tiffany and Brian brought their ideas back to Pembroke Hill and began finalizing plans for the new iLab, which opened last fall.

“We knew we wanted a dedicated space that was flexible and allowed for more creativity," Brian said.