Academics
Curriculum

Innovation + Fabrication

Department: Innovation + Fabrication

Milken’s Innovation and Fabrication Department concretizes classroom learning by encouraging students to roll up their sleeves and create. At Milken, experiential learning is central to fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. Students conceptualize, design, and build a vast array of products that connect to their classwork, their personal passions, and ideas they want to explore. We stress that iteration leads to excellence, as well as humility and self-efficacy. Located on the Upper School campus, the Guerin Family Institute and FABLab, our Signature Space, is one of the only FABLabs in the region and is equipped with high and low tech machines. It serves as a place for students, faculty, and Milken families to play, experiment, learn, and innovate. Milken graduates take that creativity out into the world with their honed problem-solving skills to positively impact their community.

Course Listings

List of 10 items.

  • Advanced Engineering & Design

    Advanced Engineering & Design is a one-year course that will cover conceptual and algebra-based physics, mechanical components, computer-aided design of mechanical systems, engineering problem solving, JAVA computer programming, electronics theory and design, and control systems concepts and implementation, and will have a specific focus on how these are used in FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). 
  • AP Computer Science

    This course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. This course is rooted in the Java programming language and students learn to write, run, test, and debug solutions in the Java programming language. Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Science or department approval.
  • Computer Science Research

    In this course, students merge their passions with popular emerging digital tools to explore, examine, discover, and make new creations. Students in this Incubator course will work independently and together to develop products which could range from games and apps, to digital animations, websites, and beyond. Class sessions will alternate between discussions, working sessions, design jams, and presentations. This will prepare teams to identify outlets to disseminate both their products and their work, such as conferences and competitions.
  • Creative Coding (Elective - Middle School)

    Students explore digital design skills through a variety of projects. They will begin learning Python with Tracy and Java with Alice to create their own video games. They will create digital music with GarageBand. Students will also explore Virtual Reality realms of design and use Oculus Go headsets to view their creations in real-time 3D.  This introductory course is appropriate for students with little to no experience in the digital realm as well as adaptable for students with prior coding and digital design experience.
  • Design & Fabrication

    This course provides an introduction to design thinking, prototyping software and equipment, various types of materials, and collaborative skills. Students will learn how the tools, equipment and machines function and how to safely operate each one. They will use a variety of software programs to design products and will communicate these designs with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and other processes. This course also focuses on art as inspiration for the design of physical products and marketing materials for products. Students will study various famous artists, present what they have learned to their classmates, and use artists' styles as inspiration for their own designs. Students will also participate in collaborative projects, peer feedback activities, reflection assignments, presentations, portfolio development, and exhibitions.
  • Engineering

    The theme and goal of this course is to build fun stuff that helps improve lives. Students are introduced to the tenets of Stanford University’s Engineering Design Process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test), and explore some of the common pitfalls of design. Students complete several simple rapid prototyping and building challenges, and are introduced to tools and safety rules for working in the FabLab. The course consists of four Units of study: Engineering Design Process, Practical Electronics, Mechanical Design and Engineering, and Applied Robotics. The Applied Robotics unit applies learning from each of the previous 3 units of study.
  • Innovation + Fabrication Workshop (Elective)

    This course applies the engineering design process to design and create a series of unique products that satisfy both practical and aesthetic needs. This course also provides an introduction to design thinking, prototyping software and equipment, various types of materials, and collaborative skills. Students will learn how the tools, equipment and machines function and how to safely operate each one. They will use a variety of software programs to design products and will communicate these designs with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and other processes. 
  • Intro to Computer Science & Design

    Students use today's technology to create their own products such as video games, apps, websites, and more. Students get hands- on experience building computer programming and computational thinking skills through working with languages and tools like visual drag- and-drop programming, Arduino, HTML, Python, C#, JavaScript, and Java. No prior experience with coding is necessary, only interest and enthusiasm. 
  • Robotics (Elective)

    In the Robotics elective, students will learn engineering and design principles through different types of Robotics material systems. In this hands-on course they will work on projects that demonstrate electronics, coding for mechanics, and engineering Physics. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to elect to participate in a team experience by building a competitive class robot for Milken’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition.   
  • X-Lab (Middle School)

    This course applies the engineering design process to design and create a series of unique products that satisfy both practical and aesthetic needs. This course provides an introduction to design thinking, prototyping software and equipment, various types of materials, and collaborative skills. Students will learn how the tools, equipment and machines function and how to safely operate each one. They will use a variety of software programs to design products and will communicate these designs with 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and other processes. 

Innovation + Fabrication Department Faculty

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Doug Hinko

    Doug Hinko 

  • Photo of Miguel Alferez

    Miguel Alferez 

    Innovation & Fabrication Teacher
  • Photo of Byron Brown

    Byron Brown 

    Director of Innovation & Design Thinking, Division 6-8
  • Photo of Stephan Shapiro

    Stephan Shapiro 

    Robotics Manager
    310.440.3500 x3030
  • Photo of Shoshana Arunasalam

    Shoshana Arunasalam 

    Computer Science Teacher

Connect With Us

At Milken Community School, we think education is more than what you know. Our School, founded on Jewish values, is about who our children can become and how they can help others become who they might be. Because the world our children will create tomorrow is born in the School we build today, our mission is to educate our children so they can surpass us.