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The R&D Behind a S.T.E.A.M.-Focused Makerspace at Akiba-Schechter

The R&D Behind a S.T.E.A.M.-Focused Makerspace at Akiba-Schechter

This past summer, driven by a desire to create a sustainable system of innovation in our school and supported by a grant from the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge, Akiba-Schechter began the process of creating the first Research & Development Department in a Jewish Day School.

The Akiba R&D Department studies, develops prototypes, researches, and scales new teaching and learning approaches, practices, and systems that advance relevant learning for our students and the field of education. Our R&D system ensures new programs, models and ideas are thoughtfully studied, implemented, and sustained. In many companies, R&D departments play an integral role in the life cycle of a product. For us, at a Jewish Day School, we believe the R&D Department plays an integral role in the lifecycle of teaching methodologies and student learning.

The R&D Department researches and develops approaches, practices, and systems that:

  • are driven by global trends

  • have a strong relevance to our school’s mission and core values

  • have potential to significantly transform teaching and learning

  • have sudden urgency or meet unexpected needs

The R&D Department focuses on five areas:

  • Research for new programs or models

  • Development of new programs or models

  • Updates in existing programs or models

  • Quality checks on existing programs or models

  • General research on educational trends and innovations