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The centerpiece of the NuVu model is the studio. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab, the NuVu studio is an immersive, interdisciplinary learning experience built around four pillars: innovation, empathy, design, and impact. Each studio is structured by hands-on, real-world projects in a 6:1 student-to-coach ratio that ensures support for students as they work on open-ended problems. To create voice and purpose for students, studio topics always include relevant social issues. 

NuVu students work on a single multidisciplinary studio for 3 to 4 weeks rather than attending multiple courses each day. Projects help students deepen their critical thinking skills, express their creativity, learn to collaborate, and develop deep technical skills. All learning in the NuVu model is hands-on, so students spend a lot of time in “the shop,” a multi-faceted fabrication space where students have access to a variety of materials, resources, and tools, both digital and analog. Students also have access to experts who serve as guest coaches and bring rigor to the learning process by providing feedback, provoking new ways of thinking, and encouraging iteration.

NuVu graduates have proven to be prepared to thrive in engineering, art, and design programs at highly selective colleges. As NuVu continues to empower its students with the technical skills to become designers, entrepreneurs, makers and inventors, it has developed NuVuX, an initiative that brings design, creativity and innovation to K-12 schools and organizations around the world. NuVu serves as the epicenter of the growing global NuVuX Partner Network. NuVu Brochure A Day in NuVu

  • Learning Strategies & Habits
  • Postsecondary Knowledge & Assets
  • Cognitive Thinking Skills
  • Academic Knowledge & Skills
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Personalized Learning
  • Flexible Scheduling Structures
  • Career Prep and Work-Based Learning
  • 1:1 Coaching & Consulting
  • Resource Toolkit
  • Professional Development
  • Direct Model Implementation

What Makes This Model Innovative?

Relevance
NuVu believes that transformative learning is possible only when students reach outward to impact society. By design, NuVu studios include opportunities for students to work directly with people who have firsthand experience of the topics being explored.
Customization
NuVu studios are designed to be spaces where students can take risks and explore new ideas and opportunities based on individual needs and interests. Coaches and mentors are able to actively support students on their respective journeys because of the low student-to-coach ratio.
Active Self-Direction
At NuVu, students are positioned to define their own learning goals during fully immersive studios. In a studio, this means students make decisions about how to progress through a project. In each phase, students use emergent knowledge to figure out what to do next.

Goals

NuVu studio learning prepares students to be well versed in the creative thinking and analytical skills valued by colleges, employers, and the world. NuVu defines these skills using five competency areas:

Creative Mindset

Students organize information into unique ideas that have value. Skills include conceptualization, design research, iteration, and critical synthesis.

Critical Communication

Students utilize various mediums to convey ideas and insight. Skills include data comprehension, applied reading, critical writing, and oral presentation.

Personal Growth

Students exercise agency as a part of self-improvement. Skills include engagement, initiative, collaboration, and project management.

Contextual Framing

Students develop perspectives using insight from diverse sources. Skills include social contextualization, cultural and historical awareness, design empathy, and civic participation.

Essential Making Techniques

Students transform ideas from the abstract to the concrete. Skills include visual communication, natural sciences application, documentation, rapid prototyping, programming or electronics application, advanced media, mechanical operations, and fabrication and construction.

Experience

Studios are the heart of NuVu’s pedagogy. Based on the architectural studio model, studios are 3–4 week hands-on, multi-disciplinary, collaborative learning experiences that conclude with projects and exhibitions. During studios, students learn to navigate open-ended problems, collaborate effectively, build empathy for others, and communicate their ideas effectively using a variety of media. Sample Studio Curriculum Formbionics

Overall, six skills areas and six thematic areas drive the NuVu curriculum. 

Skills areas: Design Fundamentals; Research and Conceptualization; Electronics and Computation Fundamentals; Engineering and Robotics; Fabrication and Visualization; Computation and Logic.

Thematic areas: Sustainable Infrastructure and Systems; Civic and Community Engagement; Health and Well-being; History, Identity and Culture; Technology and Future Worlds; Human Interaction.

NuVu’s curriculum also includes three other key elements: seminars and workshops; supplemental coursework; and internships and capstone projects. NuVu Curriculum Overview

Seminars meet once per week and last for an entire trimester. They cover topics where students have expressed particular interest. Through reading, writing, and discussion, seminars allow students to explore topics related to their work in studios.

Each week, NuVu faculty also offer a variety of standalone hour-long workshops. Some workshops focus on technical skills like perspective drawing or circuit design, while others cover topics like logical fallacies or financial literacy.

As part of their NuVu experience, students will spend a trimester or summer at a partnering company or organization through an internship program. These experiences connect what students do within studios to a larger, real-world context.

During their 12th grade year, students complete capstone projects on a topic of their own choosing. Capstone Projects 2020 NuVu Capstone Exhibition

To ensure that all students have a well-rounded foundation in traditional disciplines, NuVu integrates supplemental coursework into the overall academic program. One flexible block per day allows students to determine how much time they need to devote to this work each week. Students then supplement their learning by taking accredited academic courses through specialized online providers and with support from NuVu’s coaches.

NuVu’s academic advisors work with each student to craft a personalized multi-year plan based on that student’s particular academic goals. Advisors also work with students to ensure that they are strong candidates for college admission who are prepared for postsecondary success.

Supporting Structures

The NuVu studio learning model can be adapted into existing school structures with substantive changes to core capacities in instruction, facilities, and scheduling.

NuVu curriculum is structured around studios where open-ended questions and hands-on learning are the norm.

NuVu studios fuse academics and imagination with student-centered practices, which means instructors, called coaches, must have a specialist set of skills. In a studio, instruction is focused on the facilitation of learning within the context of a project rather than a specific content area.

NuVu’s core emphasis on individual student growth is reflected in the school’s assessment practices. As a result, in place of traditional letter grades, students receive daily feedback about their progress toward mastery in five competency areas, and they regularly reflect on their own learning as a part of assessment. Student work is documented in portfolios that are showcased in public exhibitions.

The NuVu model relies on a high level of student trust and benefits from students opting into the learning environment. 

The NuVu learning experience was designed for students who want school to challenge them to think big rather than hit the ceiling of grades and tests. NuVu is for students who like to ask questions, tinker, design, engineer, and make with the goal of having social impact through their work. 

At NuVu, a culture of trust and respect is born out of coaches and experts who support students as they learn the foundational skills they need to engage in self-directed learning. The relationships that emerge from this support empower students to take risks and tackle sophisticated projects.

NuVu coaches are uniquely equipped to help students develop the skills and competencies needed to thrive in school and beyond. 

NuVu pedagogy is aligned to the vision that middle- and high-school students can begin to develop skills and competencies they will need in the future. These skills and competencies take years of practice and experience to develop and require the support of adults in a variety of roles. 

For students to learn how to innovate and solve real-world problems, these adults need to be able to design and facilitate open-ended learning experiences. They also need to be able to teach some of the technical skills that will help students bring their ideas to life.

NuVu studios are structured to give students the time to dive deeply into projects.

The NuVu schedule was designed to foster deeper learning by affording students the time and schedule flexibility needed to work through iterative learning processes. For NuVu, this typically looks like studio work from 9am–3pm taking place in 3–4 week increments. However, any school can adapt NuVu’s studio-based practices for their unique schedules, as long as students can deeply explore a topic.

To support elements of its program, NuVu forms unique partnerships with schools, colleges, and businesses in the local community.

NuVu offers students from other schools the chance to enroll full-time at NuVu for a trimester or semester. To support studios, NuVu often engages experts from local colleges and innovative companies. NuVu also partners with businesses and organizations to give students a real-world learning experience in its Internship Program.

NuVu’s belief that all learning should be hands-on means that schools need spaces and facilities to accommodate various types of activity.

At NuVu Cambridge, students have direct access to “the shop,” a multi-faceted fabrication shop, where they can bring their ideas to life using the latest digital and machine tools as well as various materials and analog tools. By the time they graduate, NuVu students have developed a wide array of technical skills that can be applied directly to industry and workplace experiences.

Today, fabrication labs and makerspaces exist in many different forms because of the increasing availability of tools like 3D printers and design software. NuVu itself created ToolBox, a comprehensive system of objects designed to help inexperienced creators realize ideas with available tools.

To track student projects and make communication and collaboration easier, NuVu created NuFolio, an online, visual learning platform.

Facilitating and supporting learning processes across multiple student projects can quickly become complicated and frustrating without the tools to manage all of the moving parts. Designed to support the studio process, NuFolio is a digital platform that makes student learning visible by organizing their ideas, prototypes, reflections, and presentations through a shared workspace. NuFolio allows students, coaches, and mentors to interact and collaborate inside and outside the studio.

To design transformative learning experiences that prepare students for the future, NuVu actively engages in research and development.

NuVu has an in-house R&D Team that develops studio topics and tools to enhance studio-based learning and practices. Using NuVu itself as a platform for research and exploration in new studio topics, the R&D Team spreads best practices and studio learnings to its larger network of schools.

NuVu curriculum is structured around studios where open-ended questions and hands-on learning are the norm.

NuVu studios fuse academics and imagination with student-centered practices, which means instructors, called coaches, must have a specialist set of skills. In a studio, instruction is focused on the facilitation of learning within the context of a project rather than a specific content area.

NuVu’s core emphasis on individual student growth is reflected in the school’s assessment practices. As a result, in place of traditional letter grades, students receive daily feedback about their progress toward mastery in five competency areas, and they regularly reflect on their own learning as a part of assessment. Student work is documented in portfolios that are showcased in public exhibitions.

The NuVu model relies on a high level of student trust and benefits from students opting into the learning environment. 

The NuVu learning experience was designed for students who want school to challenge them to think big rather than hit the ceiling of grades and tests. NuVu is for students who like to ask questions, tinker, design, engineer, and make with the goal of having social impact through their work. 

At NuVu, a culture of trust and respect is born out of coaches and experts who support students as they learn the foundational skills they need to engage in self-directed learning. The relationships that emerge from this support empower students to take risks and tackle sophisticated projects.

NuVu coaches are uniquely equipped to help students develop the skills and competencies needed to thrive in school and beyond. 

NuVu pedagogy is aligned to the vision that middle- and high-school students can begin to develop skills and competencies they will need in the future. These skills and competencies take years of practice and experience to develop and require the support of adults in a variety of roles. 

For students to learn how to innovate and solve real-world problems, these adults need to be able to design and facilitate open-ended learning experiences. They also need to be able to teach some of the technical skills that will help students bring their ideas to life.

NuVu studios are structured to give students the time to dive deeply into projects.

The NuVu schedule was designed to foster deeper learning by affording students the time and schedule flexibility needed to work through iterative learning processes. For NuVu, this typically looks like studio work from 9am–3pm taking place in 3–4 week increments. However, any school can adapt NuVu’s studio-based practices for their unique schedules, as long as students can deeply explore a topic.

To support elements of its program, NuVu forms unique partnerships with schools, colleges, and businesses in the local community.

NuVu offers students from other schools the chance to enroll full-time at NuVu for a trimester or semester. To support studios, NuVu often engages experts from local colleges and innovative companies. NuVu also partners with businesses and organizations to give students a real-world learning experience in its Internship Program.

NuVu’s belief that all learning should be hands-on means that schools need spaces and facilities to accommodate various types of activity.

At NuVu Cambridge, students have direct access to “the shop,” a multi-faceted fabrication shop, where they can bring their ideas to life using the latest digital and machine tools as well as various materials and analog tools. By the time they graduate, NuVu students have developed a wide array of technical skills that can be applied directly to industry and workplace experiences.

Today, fabrication labs and makerspaces exist in many different forms because of the increasing availability of tools like 3D printers and design software. NuVu itself created ToolBox, a comprehensive system of objects designed to help inexperienced creators realize ideas with available tools.

To track student projects and make communication and collaboration easier, NuVu created NuFolio, an online, visual learning platform.

Facilitating and supporting learning processes across multiple student projects can quickly become complicated and frustrating without the tools to manage all of the moving parts. Designed to support the studio process, NuFolio is a digital platform that makes student learning visible by organizing their ideas, prototypes, reflections, and presentations through a shared workspace. NuFolio allows students, coaches, and mentors to interact and collaborate inside and outside the studio.

To design transformative learning experiences that prepare students for the future, NuVu actively engages in research and development.

NuVu has an in-house R&D Team that develops studio topics and tools to enhance studio-based learning and practices. Using NuVu itself as a platform for research and exploration in new studio topics, the R&D Team spreads best practices and studio learnings to its larger network of schools.

Supports Offered

To support schools that want to adopt their studio model, NuVu has developed NuVuX, a set of education and consulting services built with the goal of supporting educators who want to adopt studio-based learning. NuVuX consists of four models, ranging from ready-to-use studios, to innovation camps, to comprehensive innovation programs with robust support. NuVuX Program Components

X1 – Studio Curriculum
Cost Associated

The X1 model is designed for schools seeking to run studio-based programming with minimal support from NuVu. X1 provides access to select NuVu studios, hosted on NuFolio. Studios contain the studio prompt, assignments, all accompanying resources and tutorials, an equipment and supplies list, and necessary support materials. Instructors receive four hours of professional development training prior to the start of the studio and a minimum of 16 hours of remote support during the studio course.

X2 – Virtual Studios
Cost Associated

In this offering, studio courses are led synchronously by NuVu coaches in a virtual environment. Facilitated entirely online, these courses are a good choice for schools interested in piloting NuVu curriculum or schools limited by teacher support who want to capitalize on NuVu’s studio expertise more directly. These studios require a material kit for each student, which is provided by the school, or which under special circumstances can be provided by NuVu.

X3 – Program Support
Cost Associated

The Curricular Support and Consultation Model provides schools and organizations with a combination of studio curriculum, remote support, and professional training to help develop a robust, onsite, studio-based program for students. This model is appropriate for institutions with an existing STEAM or innovation program infrastructure who are seeking new teaching methods and content, along with dedicated, ongoing support from the NuVu Team.

X4 – NuVuX Fellows
Cost Associated

The NuVuX Fellow model is the most comprehensive mode of partnership and is appropriate for institutions seeking to create or enhance studio-based programming within their organization long term. In these models, a full-time NuVuX Fellow is dedicated to the project (either on-site or remotely), and a NuVuX Program Designer (project manager) oversees the implementation of the program. The complete suite of NuVuX program components are implemented for lasting, meaningful impact.

Reach

30
Schools
5
Continents
100%
College Admission
5000
Students

Impact

NuVu’s studio pedagogy helps students cultivate skills essential to postsecondary success.

  • 97% graduation rate
  • 100% college acceptance rate

Student experience surveys reflect important aspects of NuVu’s impact.

NuVu’s model also has received strong endorsement from parents.

Contact

Saba Ghole
Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer