RESTON, Va. (WDVM) — NOVA Labs, the largest Makerspace in the DMV, has launched a micro-school with COVID-19 regulated in-person classes starting in September.
NOVA labs generated an innovative idea, a solution to the problem virtual education poses on children. The solution includes small 6-12 person daily classes, covering all fundamentals plus a little bit more.
“The idea here is that we cover those base instructions because it’s a small group, we get a lot of flexibility, you could do a lot of different things. One: you can incorporate richer experiences with smaller groups, with smaller groups you can do a lot of one-on-one instruction, so you can really target what the kid needs.”Patrick Waters, teacher at Nova MakerSchool
These fundamentals include Math, Science, History, English, Social Studies, and other unique classes to keep students engaged.
“When a kid is able to get that whole child, well-rounded education, right? Every part of their brain lights up, every part of them wants to be there,” said Waters.
It was not on Nova Lab’s radar this year to develop a micro-school, but they realized the future is now.
“We are hoping that this is a permanent solution for families to provide an uncommon, innovative, solution to 21st-century education” stated Karen Shumway, another teacher at Nova MakerSchool.
Parents can all agree that virtual education is tough, which is what drove Waters to get the ball rolling so his middle school child could have an engaging education.
“He really needs that one-on-one teacher in the room interaction, everybody in the group is helping him out and the more you put him on the technology, it distracts him…the kid looks at me and said ‘this is awful dad, I can’t do this,” Waters expressed.
For parents who might be worried about their child’s safety at the school, don’t fret, as they have developed their own face shield prototype through 3D printing technology.
“We need to create some sort of a clear shield that has the fabric around it because little kids depend too much on their communication skills on facial expressions. So if they can’t see each other’s faces or their teachers, that’s going to be damaging,” said Shumway.
Students will be socially distanced, required to wear their face-shields at all times and there will also be HEPA air filters in each room, filtering out infectious aerosols.
The pod class offerings are every day, costing $7,500 for the year. There are also additional a la carte classes available, allowing local students to augment their education.
To find out more, visit their website here.