The WonderLab is Westwood’s internationally recognized center for innovation, STEM, and Computer Science.
Students in grades 5-6, 8-10 have classes in the WonderLab. Other students are invited to the lab for special coding and innovation events.
At Westwood, we build apps, programs, and service projects that make a difference. We are leaders in 21st Century education and excited to help our students learn how to collaborate, connect, and create.
Students learn and play with leading edge technology including:
- App Programming
- Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets
- 3D Printing
- Coding Video Games
- Programming Robotics
- Building and Making
- Graphic Design
Presentation skills are an important part of life. As students learn, they present to each other, to the school, and to online audiences to build confidence.
Mrs. Davis is named one of the top three influencers in education technology. She authors the Cool Cat Teacher Blog and a popular podcast.
These works of heart are done on her personal time but bring benefits to Westwood students every day.
A Leader in Innovation
Since 2008, six film crews have been on campus from the media to interview students about their technology innovations. Additionally, Westwood has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, London Times, CNN Money, and various other media outlets.
Learn the Tools
Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and a wide variety of collaborative tools are part of what students learn to use in their creation and collaboration projects.
Technology change is not about the tools, it is about people. In the WonderLab, we learn to make our school, community, and world a better place by using our talents.
Projects in the WonderLab focus on answers that cannot be “Googled.” We create film, apps, and works that improve our world and solve problems.
Learning our Strengths
A primary purpose of the WonderLab is to expose students to a wide variety of activities. We want to help them find their strengths. From the YouScience profile to other projects, students have a variety of opportuinities for leadership and service.
Digital filmmaking, graphic arts, and creative expression are a key part of 21st century communication. In the WonderLab, we place an emphasis on teaching students how to craft their own digital film.
Our students have won award and received media internships as a result of their work.
Invent This Project
In this project, students invent a new way to access the Internet. Their movie should be believable. In this film, Rebekah’s concept “The Eye Shot” is a contact lens that takes photographs.
App Shark Tank
When students make apps, they also design full websites, create social media campaigns and shoot video trailers to promote their app. In this film, the Drone Zone team films from a drone. This app went on to win a financial investment in the US Department of Education Shark Tank Project in Fall 2015.
When students feel strongly about a topic, we work to help them craft compelling stories. They use their film to encourage others to take action.
This trailer is a public service announcement (PSA) used to promote the Enough app. The app was designed to encourage those struggling with domestic violence to get help. This film is being used by a variety of organizations across the country in the fight against domestic violence.
Mad About Mattering
Collaborative App Creation
In 2016, Westwood Schools collaborated with 170 other students to create 11 apps in the MAD about Mattering Project. This project co-created by Westwood teacher, Vicki Davis, was the first collaborative app development project of its kind. Judges from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon were part of the final judging process. The Uncut app won the competition.
Making and Creating
Each year, students begin their orientation to the lab with an invention project.
Students have access to all of the tools and gadgets in the classroom. In this photograph, a student works with his Arduino-enabled car to demonstrate it to other students.
Some of the available technologies include:
- Arduino Boards
- Hummingbird Robotics Kits
- VR Headsets
- 3D Printer
Crafting and Sharing Your Message
When the media comes to spotlight the WonderLab, Westwood students are put in the spotlight to share their work.
Learning to communicate your message to an audience is an important skill.
Online presenting, face to face presenting, and being comfortable talking to the media are some of the many ways Westwood works to help students express themselves in the modern world.
The George Lucas Foundation visited our campus to profile the work Mrs. Davis is doing in the WonderLab. (See video.)
Awards and Honors
- More than fifty technology tudents have won online awards for their films and apps each year in international global collaborative projects from 2006-present.
- Winner Edtech Developer’s SharkTank in Atlanta – Drone Zone App by Westwood Students (2015)
- Judge – $1 million Teacher Prize – Teacher, Vicki Davis (2014-2017)
- Top 5 Most financially literate classroom in the country – H&R Block (2014)
- Best Talk Show Host in Education – Teacher, Vicki Davis (2014)
- Winner, Film Festival – Will Bullard – “Wilbur, Hall Monitor (2011)
- Top Edublog for Teachers in the World Finalist – Teacher, Vicki Davis (2006-present)
- Edublog Award – Best Wiki 2006, 2008
- ISTE Online Learning Award The Flat Classroom Project (2006)
About Vicki Davis
Vicki Davis graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991 with a Management Degree and first in her class. She is a 1987 graduate of Westwood Schools. After a successful career in the cellular telephone business and running her own company where she trained teachers and adults about using technology,
Mrs. Davis came to Westwood Schools in 2002 to teach Computer Science and serve as the IT Director in the Computer Lab her mother, Sue Adams, started in 1991.
Since that time, she’s taken Westwood students on trips to Dubai, Qatar, India, China, Hawaii, and local visits to Atlanta. These trips all center around the use of technology.
Westwood students are one of the greatest joys of Mrs. Davis’ life as she works to help students attain educational excellence through 21st century learning.
“The only thing permanent in this world besides Jesus Christ is change,” says Mrs. Davis. “I want to help students use technology to do good in the world and to find and use their own strengths.”
Tools We Give You to Be Successful
Every student in grades 7-12 receives a PowerSchool username and password. This is linked to your computer userid and password. So, when you change one, you change both!
A Personal Email
Each student from grades 7-12 also has a person email account ending in westwoodschools.org. Every teacher and other student’s contact information is pre-loaded in your address book. Just type their name and there they are! You can also use this to get student discounts when you purchase technology for education purposes.
A UserId and Server Space
Each student in grades 7-12 receives a computer userid. This ID can be used on any of the school’s computers on campus. Also, each student has a 2GB server drive to store files that you can access anywhere on campus. This is shown as your U: drive in network places.
You email is through Google Apps for Education. This means you have access to all of the GSuite of Services (it used to be called Google Drive.) You can access all of these services at drive.google.com and log in with your student ID. This includes Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Drawings, Calendar and many other services. This also means that you can set up Google services on your mobile phone using your Westwood ID.
Print From Your Computer or Mobile Device
The Westwood network is engineered as a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) network. As always, you must have permission to use your device for school-related work. You can print to the color laserjet in the Computer lab from your mobile phone or computer. See the technology director for help setting up your device. You must be on the student wifi network in order to print. This does not give you access to your network U drive.
Manage Your Mobile Calendars
Westwood uses Google calendar to manage our mobile devices. Click the link below in order to add the Google Calendar to your mobile device. When we make changes to the calendar, it will be updated on your mobile phone! (We also have some sweet calendars on this website too.)
Click the button below, then click the calendars you wish to add to your Google Calendar. Then, just link your Google Calendar with your phone.
Sign up for an Office Live ID
We recommend that you sign up for a Microsoft Office Live ID. This lets you access Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint online for free. If you have Microsoft Office at Home, you can sync your files between school and home using their service!
We also recommend the digital notetaking service One Note. This is a free Microsoft tool that will sync between computers, your mobile phone, and all devices using the Office Live ID. See our IT Director for help.