CCDS receives major gift from alumnus to expand, enhance makerspace program
CCDS receives major gift from alumnus to expand, enhance makerspace program

Cincinnati Country Day School has received a $100,000 gift to expand and enhance the school's makerspace program. The gift from Bill Pugh '78 and his wife, Lisa Orange, establishes the Innovation and Design Fund, which will propel the school's program around designing, creating, and inventing as an extension of the learning process.

Pugh, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland, was motivated to make the gift after a recent visit to CCDS. "When I saw the work Marcus Twyford and others were doing to support making activities at Country Day, I decided I wanted to help them take it to the next level."

Pugh will be on CCDS's campus Thursday to talk with students about computers, technology, and makerspaces.

"In looking back on my own learning experiences and working with students, I've found the best way for students to reach their potential is to get motivated to work on their own ideas for multidisciplinary projects; even better if they do this as part of a team effort," Pugh said.

"The intersection of design and technology are fertile ground for such projects. Country Day has been a leader in fostering and encouraging such work."

Twyford, a computer science and engineering teacher, has already made plans to enhance the current makerspace with more CAD (computer automated design) training and after-school events to encourage more of the CCDS student body to participate. Two new makerspaces will be located at "7125" (formerly the Early Childhood House) and the old muscle room, where project design and fabrication will occur. With money from the Innovation and Design Fund, the school has purchased more equipment and tools and enhanced programs to help students design, build, and create for classes, projects, hobbies, or startups.

"This is a game changer, the start of more opportunities for students to explore college majors and careers." Twyford said. "It permits us to do more, dig deeper, and offer targeted independent studies. I have one student taking a mini-course in the field of bio-mechatronics. She wants to learn how to build prosthetics. She took my engineering class, printed 3-D hands and now wants to take the projects further."

Twyford is confident that Cincinnati Country Day School is ahead of local schools in the makerspace movement. "In terms of resources, space, and curriculum, we are on par with many colleges. This fund will continue to strengthen and grow opportunities for students and teachers who want to explore the world of making, and everyone at Country Day is deeply grateful to the Pughs for their visionary leadership."

To make an online contribution to the Innovation and Design Fund, click here. Please list Innovation and Design Fund in the comments section.