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More than the space, the Curiosity Lab is a philosophy that fosters and promotes a curiosity mindset. Our learners are encouraged to be inquisitors, researchers, builders, tinkerers, scientists, artists, engineers, re-imaginers and myth busters, not just in the lab, but outside of school and across their lifetimes.

The John W. Knight Curiosity Lab is a physical space that features innovation, technology and entrepreneurship learning activities, tools and experiences for youth. More than a maker space, more than a computer lab, the JWK Curiosity Lab encourages learners of all ages to wonder, explore, deconstruct and invent.

The John W. Knight Curiosity Lab is in the heart of the school, supporting an evolved and amplified tinkering program for our student body, as well as a broad variety of enrichment classes that serve students from across Southern Maine. 

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The JWK Curiosity Lab provides rich streams of experiences, questioning and novelty, fostering “conversations with phenomena” via art, tinkering, making, and other opportunities to interact with the Lab’s library of tools, materials, technologies and interactive components.

Here youth are encouraged to ask how does it work, why does it work that way and how could it work.

The ultimate goals are to not only spark curiosity, but scaffold it so that learners are guided into deeper exploration and mastery, and to help learners not only develop key readiness skills such as STEM, grit, resilience and self-confidence, but also a broader curiosity mindset that prepares them to be active contributors, creators and entrepreneurs.

Cultivate curious generations. The JWK Curiosity Lab supports youth in developing the appetite, expectations and learning approaches to support their lifelong curiosity and creativity.

Tinker with education. The Lab allows us to experiment with and refine a pedagogical approach that supports effective curiosity driven learning.

Elevate what we already do. Breakwater has supported this hands-on, curiosity based approach to education through our existing tinkering program, formally begun in 2009. The JWK Curiosity Lab provides space, access and resources to build unique and solid curriculum for Kindergarten through grade 8 and strengthens Breakwater’s model of integrated learning through play and discovery.

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About John W. Knight

John W. Knight was a brilliant engineer who was constantly inspired by and curious about the world around him. He had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and innovation, constantly seeking to understand how everything worked, and even further, how it might be done differently. As part of his legacy, we want to inspire a similar limitless curiosity and endless enthusiasm for making, breaking, understanding and questioning for youth across Maine