Hammond School unveils Innovation Center with optimum learning environment and technologies

Second floor view of Hammond Innovation Center. Karamie Sullivan photos.

Hammond School in Columbia has unveiled a new 30,000 sq.-ft. Innovation Center that is quite a visual spectacle both inside and outside. The facility is literally a hub for technology and learning, based on architectural observations and designs from Harvard University, M.I.T., and other prestigious colleges across the country. Every room of the building has been carefully crafted – even down to the amount of natural lighting – to help provide an ideal learning environment for students, and a top-notch teaching environment for Hammond faculty.

Headmaster Chris Angel led a tour of the new facility Thursday morning, highlighting the classroom structure, the advanced technology, and the 24-ft. SciDome.

Angel began by showing a demonstration with a student who had learned how to program and operate a small robot, attached to a marker board. Then he moved to a lab that is utilized by a fifth-grade class.

“They (fifth graders) were asked to think of a problem they are faced with, and find a way to solve it,” said Angel. He showed the group a small, round object the fifth graders created with 3-D printers, that is made for storing ear buds so the chord doesn’t get tangled in their bookbags. “We really believe in experiential education,” he said.

The second floor of the Innovation Center showcases the SciDome, a 24-ft. interactive planetarium with 4K resolution. “This is our planetarium on steroids, with many other aspects to it,” Angel said. “I don’t refer to it as a planetarium because it has so many other usages.” He showed the group a demonstration of what kinds of visuals the SciDome is capable of displaying. Visuals ranged from a wide view of the world, to the muscle structure of the human body, to an educational cartoon, designed for younger students. Angel finished the tour by taking the group to two of the Innovation Center’s chemistry labs and biology labs.

The goal for the new building, according to Angel, was to create a space that fosters creativity and innovation for the students. “This building is a wonderful advancement for Hammond,” he said. “We prepare them for college, and beyond.”

Hammond School sits on a 107 acre campus off Galway Lane, with 160 faculty and staff members.

Categories: Columbia, Education, Richland County