21st Century Initiatives
Outdoor Learning Laboratory
In 2016, Ratner School embarked on the creation of an OUTDOOR LEARNING LABORATORY – a redesign of parts of our outdoor campus that will allow students to explore nature and learn about contributing to a sustainable environment. The Outdoor Learning Lab aligns with Ratner’s other STEAM initiatives to promote hands-on, experiential learning, and enhances Ratner’s Montessori roots. Featuring raised garden beds and a flowering shrub labyrinth among other live-plant structures, the Outdoor Learning Lab will reflect Dr. Maria Montessori’s focus on outdoor experiences as an essential extension of the classroom environment.
The Ratner School Makerspace is dedicated to problem-solving, building, tinkering, inventing… in short, making! Ratner’s cross-disciplinary Makerspace features flexible work tables, a variety of hand tools and power tools, a 3D printer and 3D doodle pens. Part science lab, part woodshop, part computer lab, part art room, the Makerspace encourages students to create rather than consume, to innovate and collaborate, and to learn by doing.
Ratner’s 1:1 PROGRAM supports individual and collaborative learning by enhancing digital literacy, furthering engagement and promoting achievement in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Technology). Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, which feature both a touch screen and keyboard, provide students the versatility of convertible technology. Placing technology in the hands of students, together with wireless projection in classrooms, enables a student-centric environment allowing for differentiation, ongoing assessment, and development of 21st century learning skills.