HAWTHORNE, Calif., Jan. 27, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the Da Vinci Schools have opened the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab on campus, heralding the continuation of a long-term partnership between the two charter high schools and the company.
Public officials will join company executives and Da Vinci trustees tonight for the dedication of the multimedia lab, which complements the collaborative learning approach employed at the Hawthorne schools.
The Da Vinci Schools, located on the same campus in the Wiseburn School District, are public, tuition-free schools that began operation in 2009. The schools draw enrollment primarily from the Wiseburn district (which serves portions of El Segundo and Hawthorne), and throughout Southern California. Both schools, Da Vinci Science and Da Vinci Design, offer a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum based on "project based learning." This dynamic approach allows students to relate classroom projects to real-world problems, working in groups to come up with meaningful solutions.
The Innovation Lab is organized into centers (Research and Development, Design and Simulation, Collaboration Corner, Project Place) that follow the natural progression of a project. Typically, students conduct research to identify the nature of the problem, then brainstorm with each other to identify needed resources and start designing their solution. They run simulations to analyze their design and refine it after additional collaboration. Finally, they prepare a presentation to share the results with other students.
Northrop Grumman employees, working with an elite group of supplier companies that also donated their products and services, designed and built the lab in less than five months with more than 1,000 hours of volunteer labor. First, they stripped a large room that formerly served as a library on campus to its bare walls. Then they installed computer hardware/software and audio-visual equipment to facilitate research and design, as well as digital whiteboards, couches and chairs to encourage students to collaborate as they work on their projects.
"While the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab provides multiple technology resources, tools are only as effective as the people who use them," said Gary Ervin, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "That's why, long after the lab opens, Northrop Grumman engineers and scientists will support DaÂ Vinci students by serving as mentors and subject matter experts for their projects. We believe this commitment to position our young people for success is what school/business partnerships are all about."
Dr. Matthew Wunder, Da Vinci Schools executive director, said the Innovation Lab will be put to good use.
"It will enhance our students' ability to develop the 21st Century skills critical for success in college and the global marketplace," Wunder said. "We look forward to nurturing our relationship with Northrop Grumman so Da Vinci can provide the best and brightest minds for the work force of the future."
Besides Northrop Grumman, the Innovation Lab project includes contributions from Absolute Software, Adobe, AGI, AutoDesk, Belkin International, Bowman Design Group, Cadence Design Systems, CCS, Dassault Systems, DirecTV, Exibitcorp, Google, Ikea, KST Data, MathWorks, Mentor Graphics, Microsoft, Modern Line Furniture, Rhinoceros, Safe Cities, Siemens, TekPanel, TRIL, VM Ware, Wolfram Research and Xerox."
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Jim Hart Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (310) 466-5509 firstname.lastname@example.org