On Friday, October 21 at 1:30 pm, Friends’ Central hosted a grand opening of The Ulmer Family Light Lab, a groundbreaking Makerspace dedicated to the creation and innovation of our youngest students in Nursery School through grade 5. The excitement was palpable, with all students and faculty in Pre-K-grade 5, as well as parents, Board members, administrators, and alumni/ae, on hand to witness this momentous occasion in the history of Friends’ Central School.
“Today is a very special day in the life and history of our remarkable school,” remarked Craig N. Sellers, Friends’ Central Head of School. Kelly Bird Pierre, Lower School Principal, shared, “Today marks the opening of The Ulmer Family Light Lab, an unprecedented space for 3-11 year olds to participate in Maker Education. The philosophy of Maker Education has always informed what teachers at FCS have done, and this facility will allow us to build upon our work by expanding the tools and shared spaces that are available and that have been chosen and designed explicitly for our youngest students to engage in this type of work.”
Designed by Barba+Wheelock and constructed by E. Allen Reeves, the Light Lab houses four Makerspaces in the areas of natural sciences, fabrication, media & computing, and design. These studios will allow teachers to build on the integrated curriculum that already exists at Friends’ Central by providing students with the space and tools to acquire a deeper understanding of and connection to their learning.
The construction of The Ulmer Family Light Lab was made possible by the generosity of the Friends’ Central community, particularly the $1 million gift donated by Rich Ulmer, Friends’ Central Class of 1960, and his wife, Bev, who were in attendance at Friday’s grand opening. Rich and Bev Ulmer proudly cut the ribbon at this extraordinary event, officially opening The Ulmer Family Light Lab for Friends’ Central’s youngest “makers.”
“The entire Lower School would like to take a moment to thank Rich and Bev Ulmer and their family for their generous donation that made this building a reality. Thank you everyone for your support in bringing this unprecedented space for Maker Education to the Lower School at Friends’ Central School,” said Pierre. Sellers added, “On behalf of everyone at Friends’ Central, thank you for your leadership in helping us make this dream come true.”
The Ulmer Family Light Lab is truly a “dream come true” for Lower School students at Friends’ Central School – our students of today and future students of tomorrow.