In one of their first assignments for an off-campus client, students in Loomis Chaffee's Problem Solving in Manufacturing, Society, and Entrepreneurship class designed and made toys for young children this fall in the school's new Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI).
Pearse Hub for Innovation
NEW: In spring 2019, the PHI will launch the Innovation Trimester (I-Tri), a program that will allow a select group of seniors to step away from their regular academic schedules for an entire term to immerse themselves in hands-on projects that address a pressing concern in the local community.
Innovation, collaboration, project-based learning, design thinking, and entrepreneurship come together in The Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI).
Students with myriad interests, a shared passion to solve problems worth solving, and an eagerness to make a positive difference in their communities now, come together in the PHI to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology, an adaptive makers’ space, training with faculty experts, and a cutting-edge curriculum.
While technology is a key component of the PHI experience, the space is also intended to foster creative problem solving.
According to Scott MacClintic ’82, Director of Innovation, ultimately the purpose of the PHI is to encourage students to “make things and/or make a difference.”
In addition to offering interdisciplinary courses, the PHI hosts visiting entrepreneurs to speak to and meet with Loomis students, works collaboratively with all academic departments to foster innovation across disciplines, and provides interested students and faculty with the training needed to safely and effectively use the tools in the hub’s makers’ space.
Problem Solving in Manufacturing, Society, and Entrepreneurship
This course will introduce students to the process of Design Thinking (DT) and provide them an opportunity to practice the skills involved in three different areas.
- Students will learn the design-build process and gain manufacturing experience in the makerspace.
- Students will design and implement a solution for a problem related to the concept of the common good.
- Students will tackle a business related entrepreneurship problem for a local business.
The Science of Engineering and Design
Students will learn about and gain experience in the engineering design and manufacturing process. Students will learn the design thinking approach to problem identification, the process of creating prototypes using the tools and resources of the maker space (3-D Printer, laser cutter, breadboards, microprocessors, etc.), and prototype drafting techniques (CAD). Students will culminate the course with a presentation on a project of their own design.
Problem Solving for the Common Good
Students will learn about and gain experience in the process of Design Thinking and how it can be applied to problems related to the Common Good and public service. Students will identify and design solutions for campus-based problems/challenges as well as a problem/challenge within the local community (Windsor or Hartford area).
Problem Solving for the Business World
Students will learn about and gain experience in the process of Design Thinking as it applies to businesses, both established businesses and start-up companies. Students will partner with local businesses to solve real world problems/challenges and will present their solutions to the partners.
All students and faculty interested in using the resources of the PHI are welcome regardless of whether they are enrolled in a PHI-related course. Training sessions on all equipment run regularly and as you master each piece of equipment, you are given credentials, indicating what equipment you are authorized to use.
Equipment currently available includes laser cutters, 3-D printers, a precision blade cutter, a CNC router, and work working equipment.
The Innovation Trimester (I-Tri) is a new program where a select cohort of Loomis seniors will spend a term outside of their regular classes identifying and solving problems in the local Windsor/Greater Hartford area. Students will practice human-centered design and learn project management techniques and skills.
Learn more about the Innovation Trimester at
Social entrepreneur William H. Smith who, at 26 years of age, co-founded the progressive Monrovia Football Academy in Liberia and LEAD network of academies in Africa spoke about youthful innovation and social entrepreneurship at convocation on October 23.
A team of three Loomis Chaffee students took part in the Hackathon for Hope at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., on October 5–6.