For nearly 200 years, Western Reserve Academy has been preparing students for college with a top-notch private education, but a recent addition to the Hudson campus is now providing them hands-on experiences with some high-tech tools as well.
The Wang Innovation Center is a 6,000 square foot space designed to help students develop their inventions, product ideas and passion projects from concept to completion.
Initially opened in April 2015 and dedicated this weekend, The Wang Center gives students access to state-of-the-art equipment, as well as traditional manufacturing tools. Divided into three areas, the new facility features a work space for imagining and planning, one for prototyping, and one for the final building of whatever the students can dream up.
In the first area, students use cutting edge software, used by architects, engineers and designers, to fully develop their creative concepts.
The second area is filled with 3D printers, laser cutters, injection molds and more, used by students to test out prototypes.
The final space, affectionately known as the "dirty" area, is a full-on, large-scale wood and metal shop, where students can create final products from successful prototypes.
So far, projects have included building skateboards, engraving glasswear, printing T-shirts, designing virtual reality programs and developing phone applications to help teach math skills, among many others.
Western Reserve Academy opened in 1826 as a combination preparatory school/college, before the higher education component broke off and became Case Western Reserve University.
Now a high school to approximately 400 students from all over the world, Western Reserve Academy is transforming it's historic campus with a decided modern way to both teach and inspire the next generation of "makers."
For more information on The Wang Innovation Center at Western Reserve Academy, visit www.wra.net/academics/wangcenter.