Innovation Lab Sneak Peek
In addition to renovating four science labs since 2017, SLUH recently finished construction on the James Guth Costigan '62 Innovation Lab (a gift of the Guth Foundation). This new 5,200-square-foot innovation commons will help capture the creative mind of the community, explore innovative ways to learn about God’s creation and, ultimately, improve our planet.
The Innovation Lab, adjacent to the Si Commons on the lower level, features a central workshop, computer/planning area, woodworking shop, group meeting area, Robotics/STEM Club room, flex classroom with tables and presentation media, and room for storage.
Two large murals designed by fine arts teacher Sean Powers '05 greet visitors as they enter the Innovation Lab.
Eastern mural: The background is a colorized copy of Andrea Pozzo’s painted ceiling in the Chapel of St. Ignatius at the Bellarmine College Rome. On top of the background is an old crest of the Society of Jesus and the phrase “Called to the Frontiers,” echoed by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to the Jesuits. This design simultaneously reinforces to the school’s Ignatian character while inspiring students working in the innovation commons to strive to endeavor creatively in their work.
Western mural: Eighteen Jesuit innovators are missioned by Christ, who states, “As the Father has sent me, so now I send you.” These men spread God's Greater Glory to the world through their intellect, ingenuity and spirit in fields such as math, science, astronomy, exploration, engineering and linguistics. The design inspiration, with a “hand drawn” appearance and textured blue and gray background, comes from the iconographic liturgical artwork of a contemporary Benedictine monk, Fr. Martin Erspamer.
View the 18 Jesuit innovators on the mural in the following slideshow.
Our latest INSIGNIS podcast episode focuses on the "maker movement" in education and life at SLUH. Conversations about hands-on learning and project-based learning, in addition to our new Innovation Lab, are hot topics at the U. High. In this program, we hear from:
- Joan Bugnitz (fine arts teacher) discusses her own art and the formative potential of visual arts for students;
- Geoff Bull '92 (engineering and science teacher at West Point and a field engineer for the U.S. Army) talks about what it takes to form and encourage an engineer and how his experiences at SLUH shaped him;
- Jeff Pitts (director of the Clavius Project, moderator of our Robotics Team and former plant manager for the Anheuser Busch Brewery) tells the story of his own formation as an engineer and the remarkable work of SLUH students that he supports; and
- We hear from SLUH's Hackathon Team, named "Best Start-Up" at a competition in Chicago last summer.
Construction on the Innovation Lab began early in the 2017-18 school year and was finished by the end of 2018. Planning for this new space continues to progress and is expected to be ready from a programatic perspective this fall.
See how Innovation Lab construction unfolded in the following slideshow. Photos by Drew Walters '21.