The Heart of ISP

The Learning Innovation Hub fully funded by our generous donors

Much more than a library, the Learning Innovation Hub (or the Hub), funded by Kellner and Křetínský Families, is a contemporary environment pointing to the future of learning. At the centre of our campus, the Hub inspires ISP learners to not only read and research but also to design, collaborate, innovate, and create for years to come. 

The remarkable transformation of the ISP library into a new Learning Innovation Hub during the summer of 2020, created a welcoming, open, and transparent space that encourages learning, exploration, design, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the broader community.  

Upon entering this visionary facility, learners have found an adaptable and flexible future-focused environment.

“As ISP parents, we are delighted to support this magnificent transformation of the library space into the ISP Learning Innovation Hub, which provides a learning environment fit to the 21st century, the first of its kind in the Czech Republic.”Mr. Daniel Křetínský, ISP parent and donor

Features of the Learning Innovation Hub:

  • Facilitates a wider range of learning activities by reconfiguring the existing space
  • Creates the new upper level of the library space
  • Diminished noise levels and maximized space utilizing via acoustic treatments, furnishings, and space allocations

Influenced by Petr Sís

This design of this new space has been inspired by the aesthetic of one of the Czech Republic’s most renowned artists, Petr Sís. A large rendering of Sis’s, The Labyrinth, is the focal point of the Hub, serving as a reminder of the peaceful frame of mind and focus most conducive for deep exploration and profound learning. 

Another striking feature of the library design, the ‘paper plane’ acoustic baffles soaring across the ceiling, is inspired by Sís’s Birds mobile. 

“Our goal is to create a place where everyone feels comfortable, everyone feels like it’s their library and I would definitely say that we have done that. The library or the Learning Innovation Hub is always the heart of the school, and that’s always our mission as librarians, to make it the heart of the school. This new space does feel like that, it has a very beautiful vibe to it, it’s very peaceful and calm and bright, kids tell us that all the time that they like it. Elementary kids love being here.” – Tara Russell Ethridge, Elementary Librarian

Creating a participatory learning environment

“At ISP we strive to provide exceptional learning experiences that are inspiring, relevant, and prepare our students for the future. The ISP Learning and Innovation Hub reflects these goals as a place that is flexible, welcoming, and where innovative projects are supported and encouraged. Our beautifully designed space captures the best elements of a library with multiple collaborative and quiet spaces, alongside the innovative Idea Lab where cutting edge and exciting learning will be fully realized. The Learning and Innovation Hub will inspire, engage and empower generations of ISP learners, and we are proud that it serves as the centre of the ISP campus”. – Dr. Chip Kimball ISP Director

The Hub is the heart of the school. It encourages participatory learning and co-construction of understanding and skills utilizing the varied spaces and resources. 

The role of a contemporary library is to promote literacy, a love of reading, and to provide access to information and services, all while encouraging the sharing of knowledge and ideas. Our resource collection is constantly changing in order to meet the immediate needs of our community. 

“It’s sometimes really quiet here, and you can have the space to read by yourself. If you are into fantasy or fiction, whatever kind of book you want, you can come here to the library and there is any book you really need.” -Elementary Student

“It’s a place to read and while you read, to imagine and dream about what you are reading and just think about it. It is a thinking and dreaming place.”Elementary Student

“The space is productive, it allows us our own space and if you forget your headphones, you can play your music out loud as the rooms are soundproof. It’s nice to have space where we can work and focus and there is a bigger room where we can work together without it being in a classroom.” – Upper School Student

The Idea Lab

“When I think of ISP’s mission, to inspire and engage and empower – that’s the Idea Lab. We want to be a space that encourages people to learn with their hands and hearts, as well as with their minds. Whether you are an eight-year-old sewing a scary monster puppet or an eighteen-year-old modeling a new kind of centrifuge, with the new Idea Lab we have the space to help you realize your dreams.” – Dr. Elizabeth Perry, Technology and Innovation Coach

The Idea Lab is a technology- and design-focused maker space integrated into the Learning Innovation Hub. The Idea Lab supports students’ curiosity and inquiry, extending hands-on learning with both traditional and contemporary tools. Learners can explore 3D printing, laser cutting, computational embroidery, robotics, and more – within a state-of-the-art, purpose-built space.

Technology and Innovation Coaches work with the community to help develop their ideas and skills, providing advice, instruction, and pedagogical support. Glass walls invite the curious to observe the active learning going on inside. In the Idea Lab, students and teachers can learn with and from each other as they make, tinker, prototype, test, reflect, design, and share their creations and discoveries.

The Idea Lab benefits from state-the-art equipment purchased through the generous donation of long-term supporters of ISP Eltodo.

Idea Lab Equipment

Thanks to the generous support of a donor, the Idea Lab has top-of-the-line equipment for ISP students and faculty to use, including:

Two 3D-printers

Two laser cutters

Three sewing machines

A programmable embroidery machine

A plotter cutter

A drill press

A Dremel jigsaw

A rotary tool

Multiple soldering irons, multimeters, cordless drills, vise table clamps, cutting mats, safety goggles, and a wide variety of hand tools.

ISP parents experience the Idea Lab

A number of ISP parents were able to gain some ‘hands-on’ experience of using the Idea Lab, with an auction item from the ISP Virtual Gala 2021 being a jewelry making session with Technology and Innovation Coach Dr. Elizabeth Perry. 

“The whole IDEA LAB is very impressive. All the materials and tools as well as all the equipment there is just great. It was very interesting to learn about the laser cutter. I did not know what to expect. The workshop had four steps: (1) sketching the image, (2) preparing the image on the computer for the laser cutter, (3) laser cutting and (4) assembling the jewelry. I also liked the fact that we have used almost all the debris after the cutting, something we did not think about when we started to design the jewelry. For instance, I made the earrings from leftovers only. So no waste! It is so useful that our children have access to the Idea Lab and to all the resources there plus the knowledge and creativity of the Tech and Innovation coaches!” – Tatiana Eichler, ISP Parent who has used the space.