Design-Innovate-Build aka DIB Lab

A place where curiosity takes shape

Welcome to the Hirsch/Alperin Design | Innovate | Build Lab aka DIB Lab
featuring: Digital Design | Robotics | Applied Physics & Engineering — and more!

Established in 2016, the DIB Lab is a makerspace serving all the divisions of the School. The mission of the Lab is to provide an inclusive, collaborative environment where hands-on, design-based teaching and learning strategies are used to train students and faculty to ask questions and harness their creativity. Students learn to invent and build exciting projects using both high- and low-tech tools while learning to see failure as an important part of the learning process. Classroom teachers learn project-based learning strategies and technical skills that they can bring back to their own classrooms.

For more information, contact the DIB Lab Director Dylan Ryder.

DYLAN RYDER DIB LAB from Wheeler School Broadcasting on Vimeo.


Teaching & Learning

Leveraging traditional and modern tools, students and teachers utilize the DIB Lab for project-based learning activities where their learning goals intersect with art, design, engineering, and computer science concepts. Hands-on, collaborative learning is stressed in the engineering design cycle as a method of real-world problem solving and creative expression.

Critical thinking and reflection skills are sharpened as failure is deemed a natural part of the iterative design process, that informs improvement and innovation.


The DIB Lab is a digital fabrication space equipped with 3D printers, CNC machines, and a vinyl cutter, enabling designers to transform an idea from “bits-to-atoms”, forging a computer-aided design into a physical form. A laser cutter is also accessible in a nearby Upper School classroom on campus. Additionally, the Lab is outfitted with traditional hand tools, power tools, microcontrollers and electronics workbenches, screen printing equipment, and craft materials. The Lab is also the home base for the Wheeler’s robotics program, housing both the Middle School’s LEGO Robotics gear and the Upper School’s First Tech Challenge robotics tools and components.