Marlon Family IDEAS Center

design thinking, robotics, Arduino boards

Gould Academy’s new Marlon Family IDEAS Center – which stands for Innovation, Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship, Arts, and Science – boasts an entire floor of dedicated “maker” and design thinking space that supports innovation and collaboration through building creative confidence. Applying design thinking to this creative space is based on years of practice at the Institute of Design at Stanford.

Within the IDEAS Center is the Design Thinking Studio, which acts as the hub of the design thinking wheel and provides ample, flexible space to collaborate thanks to large, movable whiteboards and furniture, not to mention space to create with enough room for a textile center as well.

Three fabrication studios support the Design Thinking Studio, including a Digital Studio with 3D printers, a laser cutter, large format printer, and vinyl cutter; a Physical Fabrication Studio with CNC routers, a band saw, table saw, drill press, and hand tools; and a Media Room complete with instruments, microphones, and recording software.

Our students are in the driver’s seat. They use interactive design to build prototypes, re-imagine them and then repeat. The result is a student who identifies problems and creates solutions.

That’s innovation.

IDEAS Center Courses Include:

Foundations for Makers

Foundations for Makers empowers students to develop the mindset and skillset of a maker. Students receive entry-level training in the physical and digital studios and basic electronics. Projects allow for tool certification with hand and power tools; experience with design construction for laser fabrication; practice with fasteners and fastening techniques for assembling 3D objects from 2D parts; and incorporating soldering techniques and basic Arduino programming into woodcraft projects.

This course can be used to satisfy the Visual Arts graduation requirement.

Robotics and Engineering

Learn how to design and build remote control and autonomous robots using the VEX EDR robotics system. Both planned and custom designs will be tested and improved on the new official VEX 12-foot x 12-foot competition field. The possibility of hosting or attending a local or regional competition will be considered. Students will learn CAD design and robotics coding for a comprehensive and fun robotics experience. (Cross-listed with the Computer Science Department. Earns Computer Science credit.

Custom Ski Building

Students will learn the basics of ski/snowboard design, composite construction, and shop safety. Each student will build a set of skis or a snowboard and learn how they are assembled and why certain materials are included. If you’ve ever wondered why carbon fiber makes a ski stiff and light this is the class for you. We utilize the same materials as commercial skis and your skis/snowboard can be just as functional.

Prerequisite: Foundations for Makers, or departmental approval based on prior experience. Cross listed with the Arts Department. This course can be used to satisfy the Visual Arts graduation requirement.

(Course material fee required.)

Robotics and Engineering 2

In this class students will build on their experience and skills from the Robotics and Engineering prerequisite course. Students will focus on building unique and original designs with advanced functional capabilities. Emphasis will be on robot dynamics, control, and mechatronics. Students will learn the math and mechanical skills required to build robotic solutions to real-world problems.

Cross-listed with the Computer Science Department. Earns Computer Science credit.

Arduinos and Electronics

This course introduces students into the world of electronics. They learn AC and DC theory as well as how discrete components like capacitors, resistors, and transistors work and why we use them. These components are used in conjunction with Arduino-based microcontrollers to complete projects that open up students to the world of modern electronics. Through the use of prototype techniques and with equipment like oscilloscopes, multimeters, and logic probes students take their first steps into the world of electronics design and the internet of things.

Cross listed with the Computer Science Department. Earns Computer Science credit.

3D Design with CAD

3D design and modeling allows engineers and artists alike to quickly create complex models that can be turned into physical models or used as digital assets. This class teaches the fundamental skills to work in a 3D environment and create models. Students learn about the core concepts of both solid and polygon modeling and how they differ. There are opportunities to hold physical creations as students learn the process of preparing designs for digital fabrication and deploying the jobs. This is the perfect class for anyone looking to make their first steps as a 3D artist, engineer, architect, designer, and innovator.

This course can be used to satisfy the Visual Arts graduation requirement.

Underwater Robotics

In this class students will study and operate ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) including the state of the art autonomous underwater vehicle ​Remus 100. ​Students will learn the systems and capabilities of the units as well as programming and operation. This will be an in-depth hands-on, and highly technical class providing a comprehensive understanding of ROVs and AUVs. Students will build their own ROVs, using repurposed bilge pump motors, PVC tubing, and a custom made controller. Outdoor opportunities include local ponds, lakes, and rivers. Field trip opportunities may include Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and ocean locations. Cross-listed with the Science Department. Earns science credit.

The Marlon Family IDEAS Center was made possible thanks to a generous gift from the Tony and Renee Marlon Charitable Foundation.

IDEAS Center Faculty