Welcome to the Innovation Commons
Part of a Jesuit education is a mandate to explore all frontiers, including those of science and technology. With this in mind, Brophy created the Innovations Commons, an 11,500-square-foot maker space that allows students to integrate ingenuity and entrepreneurship with the latest technology. Formerly the Information Commons, the retrofitted facility now houses multiple project spaces including a coding lab; a fabrication studio featuring 3-D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, and other equipment; a computing workshop with an emphasis on robotics; and an audio-visual studio.
Along with the facility, Brophy requires all freshmen to take a class called "Introduction to Innovative Technologies." The course is an introduction and invitation to the "maker" mentality of imagining, building, and creatively solving problems. Students are exposed to CAD design fundamentals, coding, and circuitry. For upperclassmen, an honors elective called "Advanced Innovative Technologies" is available that challenges students to dig deeper into design, fabrication, coding, and partnering with outside organizations and communities to create projects that serve the common good. Using the example of organizations like Not Impossible Now (founded by Brophy alumnus Mike Ebeling), students will work on approved projects for academic credit and will present their work publicly at the end of the semester.
Students can also take Computer Coding, and Honors and AP Computer Science as electives.
The technology curriculum is project-oriented and student driven. Instructors facilitate the classes, but students are encouraged to do the problem solving as they immerse themselves in hands-on learning of new technologies. In the Jesuit tradition (which includes many scientists, past and present) Brophy seeks to make sure its students have the opportunity to be on the forefront of technology learning as the Innovation Commons continues to evolve.