2250 N Clifton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

Progressive Programs - Community Support - Academic Excellence

School Hours

Monday - Friday

8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Main Office

(773) 534-5535


2250 N. Clifton Ave.

Chicago, IL 60614

School Hours

Monday - Friday

8:30 AM - 3:45 PM

Mayer Introduces the Design Lab

Dear Mayer Community:

I am ecstatic to announce the opening of our very own Mayer Design Lab, popularly referred to as the AWESOME Room by many of our students and staff. As a former New Leader for New Schools resident, I was eligible to apply for the Roberts Award for school innovation this year. In partnership with the national board member Linnea Roberts, New Leaders presents the Roberts Award for School Innovation to recognize outstanding New Leader Principals who develop innovative solutions to address critical challenges within their school communities. Mayer was awarded $25,000 to implement the Design Lab. We partnered with Bit Space, a local makerspace, to design and install the lab. Please read on to learn more about the progress of the room and how your child will be impacted.


The Idea
Mayer’s mission is to graduate students with a passion to inquire, think globally, serve others, create, lead and achieve personal excellence. We have implemented the design curriculum over the past few years with very limited resources. The results exceeded our expectations. We have seen children increase their ability to identify problems, collaborate, effectively communicate ideas, evaluate and refine ideas, as well as demonstrate reflection. All of these skills have been proven through research to provide successful transition to college, career and beyond.

The Grant
The Roberts Award has provided Mayer with the opportunity to create our vision for the Design Lab and provide robotics, coding and design/making units to 100% of our 730 students pre K – 8th grade. Every class will experience at minimum one unit this year in either robotics, coding, gardening or design/making (see attachment for units). We have installed a newly painted prepared environment that is flexible for children 3 years of age all the way to 15 years of age. We have a total of four 3D printers, and a brand new Carvey (a school sized CNC machine), Bee Bots for primary coding, and a plethora of tools.

The Future
Long term goals include maintaining this curriculum and expanding to multiple units per year for every student at every grade band. As we grow and expand as a school we are committed to preserving this physical space and this curriculum for all students. Coding and design are skills needed to succeed in today’s world.

We were excited to share this news with our school community. Stay tuned, as we plan to have an opening for the room in the near future.

Katie Konieczny

Jill Kittinger
IB Coordinator                     

Anastasia Hinchsliff
Wellness and Sustainability