innovation lab

New City School's new Tom Hoerr Innovation Lab

New City School’s newest classroom is named in honor of its longest-serving head of school, Tom Hoerr, who led from 1981-2015 and implemented a Multiple Intelligences-based curriculum in 1988.

The Tom Hoerr Innovation Lab consists of 2,500 square-feet of adaptable classroom space, with tools and materials for students of all ages to build, tinker, and dream.

“In the early stages of designing this new classroom it seemed only fitting that it be named in honor of New City’s longest serving head, Tom Hoerr,” said Alexis Wright, the current Head of School. “I can’t tell you how special it is to have a piece of the school named after Tom, particularly given his dedication and devotion to this institution that we all know and love. “

The Tom Hoerr Innovation Lab reinforces the school’s commitment to technology and science programming. This all-ages classroom is a natural extension of the school’s commitment to Multiple Intelligences education, and will allow students to experience success and failure, develop grit and resiliency, and come up with creative solutions to design challenges. Curriculum for the Innovation Lab not only emphasizes STEAM concepts, but also encourages skills that are at the heart of the New City School experience and education: empathy, compassion, and teamwork.

“The curriculum we develop will be an exemplar of what education should be — hands-on and interdisciplinary, and focused on solving complex problems in a collaborative fashion,” said Wright. “It is exciting to think of the discoveries and opportunities that will exist for our children, not only those who are enrolled here at New City, but also students who partake in summer programing that we will have available in the future.”

The Innovation Lab is made up of a large classroom area with movable tables, tools, a 3D laser cutter, sewing machines, and other materials. It also features a full kitchen, which will be used in conjunction with New City School’s on-campus vegetable garden to incorporate lessons on nutrition and food science and to allow classes to cook dishes together using produce that the students have helped grow and harvest.