It’s the fulfillment of a dream and will be the inspiration for many yet unimagined ideas to come. Melbourne Central High School (MCC) in Melbourne has begun construction of its state-of-the-art Dream Laboratory opening to students in the fall.
“The inspiration for the Dream Lab came from focus groups who wanted the school to provide the opportunity for students to achieve their full potential,” said Michael Burke President of MCC since July 2010 and one of two presidents in the nation to be honored by the National Catholic Education Association in 2016. “The goal was not to grow our school enrollment, but to create a better environment and experience for each student to develop in every academic area.”
The school has long benefitted from a consultative and collaborative relationship with Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) whose campus is just across the street. Modeled after FIT’s Digital Scholarship Laboratory, the Dream Lab will have both independent learning and collaborative work stations, an interactive learning theater, video and broadcast studios, a robotics laboratory, 3D printing capabilities, a design zone, cyber security room and the inherent capacity to integrate future advances spanning all disciplines. The capabilities of the laboratory itself will be in a constant state of upgrading to new technological developments.
“Having the Dream Lab will help us with more hands-on learning, more collaborative projects and will really impact our STEM Program,” said Sara Sutton, a junior who’s most interested in working with the 3D printer and in the robotics laboratory. The STEM Program focuses on learning achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
When asked how she relates the technological advancements with her Catholic faith, Sara responded, “Our faith relies on communication with others. Collaborating with others in the Dream Lab will enhance our relationships and our faith.”
The 5,500 square foot laboratory will be open extended hours to accommodate the needs of the 550 students. Burke anticipates it will generate a brain-storming environment and an enthusiasm for creativity that will have wide-ranging impact.
“As a Catholic High School, our obligation is to give every student the chance to reach the potential God gave them,” Burke concluded. “The Dream Lab is designed to give all the opportunity to shine.”
By Laura Dodson, Florida Catholic correspondent – April 16, 2018