Students' Winning Design Under Construction

Saba Ghole

Last year, a student team from our NuVuX program at All Saints' Academy won a competition for the design of a sculpture at Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, Florida. The park is being designed by award-winning design firm Sasaki Associates. The construction of the site is the first large scale infrastructural project aimed to reclaim abandoned sites and focus on the walkable Lakeland of tomorrow. The collaboration for the student project is a result of a partnership with Bonnet Springs Park and Platform Art and Art Research Enterprises. The student project is situated in the sensory Garden. The sculpture will play on sound and entice users with operable bangles as they pass through the garden. As part of the collaboration, the student group will visit the Art Research fabrication shop in Lancaster, PA and work on the sculpture themselves! The sculpture is now being fabricated but on hold for our students to add the final touches. The project will be installed on-site in the coming months. Congrats to the winning team!

The Ledger Article on Students Designing Follies for Bonnet Springs Park

Design Squad Global

Saba Ghole

Amiyr, one of our full-time students, was featured on Design Squad Global for his eco-friendly invention. Check out his Seed Launching Backpack to sustain pollinator-friendly plants.

Watch the Design Squad episode!

Seed Launching Backpack
Kid engineering Amiyr wants his community to have more pollinator-friendly plants, so he invents a backpack that launches seeds as he walks around his neighborhood!

Suissnex Workshop

Saba Ghole

On October 11th, we welcomed Professor Azra Aksamija, MIT, Professor of Architecture, Art, Culture and Technology Department, in collaboration with Suissnex to run a workshop at NuVu. This pilot program used a new collaborative approach to preserve threatened cultural heritage through the creation of an interactive art piece.

Students heard from Professor Aksamija about her work with refugee populations to bring cultural elements from their homeland to temporary shelters. In addition, students heard from Patrick Michel from the University of Lausanne, who provided a framing introduction on the Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, including its history and relevance.

The workshop was a hands-on collaboration with NuVu students who took ancient embroidery from Palmyra, and translated it into contemporary designs using the cross-cultural narrative between the students’ personal experience and the Historic site. These pieces will continue to travel as Azra takes her workshop to refugee populations and students around the globe. 

NuVuX in Jordan

Saba Ghole

Laser cutter delivery to the roof, check. MDF tables, check. Rolling chairs, check...

The innovation studio in Amman, Jordan is slowly coming to life. This year, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Ruwwad, a nonprofit community development organization which works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism and the grass roots organizing. Ruwwad's approach encompasses an array of programs and initiatives that strengthen agency in students. In addition to their on-site programming, we will be working in partnership with Karam Foundation, our NuVuX partner, to develop a studio-based innovation program for youth in Amman. The innovation curriculum will be based on the NuVu-Karam program which has been running in Turkey since 2017.

To learn more about Ruwwad, read more online.

"Ruwwad developed as an idea in mid-2004, when Fadi Ghandour, founder of Aramex International, one of the world’s leading logistics companies, discussed his intentions to play a more active role in community development with his company’s management team and CSR department. Until that time, Aramex had consistently supported social, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives. And so, in 2005, the decision was taken to establish a foundation that would transcend Aramex’s CSR programs. The foundation would involve other private sector players and work with a specific low-income community rather than allocate resources to various individual projects, and it would carry the name of Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya – The Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development."

Launch of NuVu Innovation School in Scotland

Saba Ghole


It's official! We launched our first full-time innovation school outside the U.S. in Glasgow, Scotland with our partner Kelvinside Academy. This moment came after a two year partnership between NuVu and Kelvinside Academy to rethink the future of learning and develop a hub for furthering our mission of creative learning.

NuVu Innovation School, which officially opened its doors on October 10, provides a unique learning environment designed around creativity, innovation and enterprise. The new school is designed to face up to the challenge of a fast-moving jobs market and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. The school will be a nexus for student innovation, R&D on studio pedagogy, teacher professional development, and corporate training.

Partnerships are already in place with a number of companies, including leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, which built and constructed the specially designed £2.5m innovation school, to use NuVu as a learning hub to develop the workforce of the future. 

At NuVu, pupils engage in hands-on problem solving, working on collaborative projects to develop creative solutions for real-world social and environmental problems. 

The new school presents a challenge to the Scottish Government by providing an example of what a new national curriculum around digital skills and future learning could look like. It also could provide a solution to teacher shortages, as instead of being taught passively by a teacher, pupils learn by doing and utilize 3D modeling software, 3D printers, laser cutters and a range of industry-standard tools to make their visions a reality, with industry and academic experts acting as mentors to help pupils find their own way through the process. 

NuVu first launched in the UK with Kelvinside Academy summer schools in 2017 and 2018. Now, the model is fully embedded within the curriculum.

NuVu will not only provide a unique learning environment for Kelvinside Academy, but talks are already underway to open its doors to pupils at local schools as well as exploring NuVu hubs in local authorities across the UK. NuVu will also be implemented for teacher CPD throughout Scotland and corporate team building experiences for businesses. 

NuVu Innovation School Director, David Miller, believes the Innovation School will become a beacon for what schools of the future could look like. 

David will work closely with Kelvinside Academy Rector Dan Wyatt to embed NuVu core philosophies throughout the school. He said: “The education system hasn’t changed in more than 40 years, but the world has. I believe the new Innovation School will resolve a huge tension in education; everyone knows the model has to change but until now, there’s been no viable alternative. We believe this powerful learning model could and should become mainstream and we hope the Innovation School will serve as a case study for government and policy makers of what can be achieved. 

“This is just the beginning, but the momentum is with us. The current system intensifies the idea that people leave school as a success or a failure, and for some, it can take many years to recover from this binary view of the world. Our model encourages a growth mindset. There are always ways to improve. There’s no specific target or outcome; the NuVu model empowers children and frees them from the depressing constraints of assessment. 

“The design, technical and meta-skills being developed and enhanced in the Innovation School – together with an agile mindset – are exactly what a range of Scottish businesses and academics are telling us they need.” 

To find out more about NuVu at Kelvinside Academy, visit 

Fall Podcasts from Across NuVuX

Saba Ghole

We have two podcasts to share from our NuVuX Network from this Fall. The first one comes from NuVuX-Odyssey in California and features our NuVu Fellow Aaron Laniosz who heads the Idea Lab program at Odyssey STEM Academy. The second podcast comes from our NuVuX partner, Wheeler School in Rhode Island, and features teachers and our NuVu Fellow Shaunta Butler who lead a new studio program at the school.

Take a quick break, sit back, and let your ears loose...

Idea Lab (Episode 9, feat. Aaron Laniosz)

Wheeler Interview with NuVuX Team

Inaugural NuVuX Summit

Saba Ghole

NuVuX Summit Programming Recap

At the end of September, we hosted our inaugural NuVuX Summit. The event was a gathering of our domestic and international partners, and leading members of the NuVuX community. The event featured panels on the future of learning and work, time for partners to share experiences, and a discussion on how NuVu can continue to push the educational boundaries in the coming decade.  The event was also a celebration of a decade of innovative learning.

Following a keynote speech about ‘The State of the World’ delivered by Meghna Chakrabarti, host of NPR’s On Point, we hosted panel discussions and shared some of the current goings-on in our partner schools. Since the launch of NuVuX in 2015 and its mission to bring studio-based learning and the design process to classrooms of all kinds, the network has successfully delivered the architectural studio model to traditional schools around the world. The NuVuX Summit was the first of its kind to build community and share resources and ideas with one another.

Future of Learning

Carrie Jung, Senior Education Reporter at WBUR moderated a conversation with educational figureheads Rob Riordan and Tony Wagner. The discussion included ideas and projections on the current models of education, and how alternate models will evolve and emerge over the next ten years. Tony and Rob offered insightful knowledge on the intersection of skills, and new kinds of partnerships that must be fostered in education in order for students to succeed in the future. As innovation and technology drives changes in the way industries function, the roles of teachers and students will shift.

Future of Design, Innovation & Technology: Predicting the Next 10 Years

For a discussion on the future of Design, Innovation & Technology, we invited Yihyun Lim, Betsy Goodrich and Ron Witte. The panelists answered poignant questions about the integration of virtual and physical experiences into our daily lives, and how this will transform aspects of our learning, social, work, and family life. Panelists shared examples of how design, innovation and technology serves larger societal goals, in addition to the biggest challenges brought on by new technologies and innovations.

The Global Perspective

The Global Perspective panel was an intriguing and necessary conversation around the greatest impact of globalization thus far, from a social, economic, cultural, and political perspective. The panelists Kate Mytty, Nasser Rabbat, and Joost Bonsen shared examples of work in developing countries and emerging markets focused on innovation and entrepreneurship that has lead to change in more unusual areas. Recognizing the growing economic inequalities worldwide, panelists discussed and challenged the various efforts taken to work with marginalized and low income communities. As interdependence between nations and cities grows, we as a community must consider how changes in one place impact another, in addition to how we connect students and communities from different cultures in a deep and meaningful way.

Future of Work

Rachel Reiser, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Students at BU’s Questrom School of Business facilitated a discussion with leading executives in marketing, engineering, and health innovation. The panelists included Leslie Forde, Lindsey Bleimes, and Sumit Nagpal. The changing nature of work will affect the type of skills, mindsets and knowledge students should be learning in school. As technology continues to shape our personal and professional lives, work-force readiness will be reframed and redefined. Panelists shared experiences in how companies are blurring the boundaries between industries through their work, and the value of diverse teams in industries that are more and more interconnected.

Mentor Day

Saba Ghole

At our NuVuX school in Woodstock, Vermont students are collaborating with industry mentors through a new series. As part of the new Innovation Lab Hive at WUHSMS, both Middle School and High School students were introduced to two mentors through a brief design. The students were asked to build Superhero Wearables which highlight and enhance the talents, passions, and expertise of their assigned mentor. Students began with interviews and discussions with the mentors followed by very rapid prototyping. One mentor, Alex Melville, is a young professional who has recently been working on cryptocurrencies and blockchaining with a passion for the outdoors and backpacking for whom one group designed glasses which open any code to him, while another created a chest plate which projected his code onto the world (example, Alex could walk up to a wall and code a door, and walk through that wall). Also with us was Frank O'Connell who has a history of pushing innovation at Reebok to Mattel to Indian Motorcycles. For him, students created wearables mostly directed toward communication such as a telepathy helmet and an idea capturing lightbulb. 

SXSW Panel Picker

Rosa Weinberg and Saba Ghole

We have submitted three awesome panels for SXSW EDU 2020. Please upvote all three! Before you can upvote us, please create an account here.

NuVuX: Rethinking School from the Inside Out
As the world progresses further in the 21st Century with a highly collaborative, global framework, K-12 education needs to adapt to stay relevant in the space of learning for students. The era of siloed subjects still permeates across schools around the world and schools are spear-heading new initiatives to break this model from the inside out through the introduction of innovative interdisciplinary curriculum that builds on a school’s makerspace.

Impact Through Innovation Labs
Powerful problem-solving methodologies can be used in tandem with a makerspace to teach students how to solve complex problems without predefined solutions. This panel invites leadership from 3 schools, a private all-boys school in Massachusetts, a public middle and high school in Vermont, and a studio-based innovation school, to share their stories of transformation and creating innovative programs that break down the boundaries of subjects, engaging students in authentic hands-on learning.

Designing for Dancers with Disabilities
NuVu Studio, an innovative high school, reimagines education through experiential design projects. Their collaborations include Heidi Latsky Dance, an integrated dance company, whose work ON DISPLAY seeks to reset aesthetic values and to erase stigma surrounding disability. Students work with dancers with atypical bodies to create wearable sculptures from the entry points of equity and accessibility. The impactful work rethinks how design shapes minds and informs society.

Sensory Trail Projects for Dream Catcher

Saba Ghole

Students at Odyssey STEM Academy, our NuVuX Partner School, took four field trips to Dream Catcher Equine Therapy Center to install their sensory trail projects. The install was the culmination of an incredible studio in which students built full scale tools, games, and activities for therapy patients on horseback. From the Tentacle Toss to the Color Cave to the Feeling Forest, the trail is a multifaceted sensory experience that engages users across different ages and abilities through smell, sight, touch, taste, and sound. The Dream Catcher Equine Assisted Therapy studio was part of the Spring Term's Idea Lab lead by our NuVuX Fellow at Odyssey.