Be Bold: Indian Hill Elementary School iLab

iLab Creative Space

“Do something bold.”

Simple yet powerful – that was the singular request one Cincinnati family with a deep commitment to public education made of Indian Hill School District educators. The result of their collaboration is a new science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) iLab that will transform curriculum for Indian Hill Elementary School students.

“We want our students to feel empowered to create and innovate; we want them to understand the design process and that failing is a great learning tool – that is a bold concept in education,” said Indian Hill Elementary School Principal Whitney Buell.

The STEAM iLab features include a graphic design station, Lego wall, pegboard wall, drafting tables, consumable materials, robotics, 3D printers and pens, virtual reality (VR) goggles, tools, flexible seating, mobile furniture, Cricut cutter, Poster Maker, Makey Makey, and Little Bits circuitry kits. Implementation was intentionally gradual over a few years so further investments were made after a careful review of successes and opportunities; the complete STEAM iLab was finished during the summer, and was ready for students to begin learning at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

More than $70,000 in funding was provided by the Koch Foundation through the Indian Hill Foundation to support the project. Dorothy Koch was a longtime elementary school teacher at the Indian Hill School District. Her four children and four of her grandchildren are all graduates of Indian Hill. Grants from the Koch Family Foundation honor her lifelong commitment to education.

“This investment honors her belief in the power of public education and the importance of support for Indian Hill Schools,” said Lisa Greene, daughter of Dorothy Koch and Indian Hill resident.

“We are grateful to the Koch family for making this significant investment in the future of our young scholars,” said Indian Hill Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles. “Mrs. Koch’s influence in positively impacting the advancement of our mission to provide exceptional educational services to each student we serve will continue to build year after year as a result of this tremendous gift.”

Photo caption: Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles with Indian Hill Elementary School students as they engage in collaboration, creativity, citizenship, critical thinking, and communication as part of their STEAM iLab learning experience.