InLabs has emerged as a new GMin program aimed at fostering a culture of creativity through the idea of “learning to make, and making to learn” within physical spaces. The InLabs are physical spaces that support local secondary school students as they develop their entrepreneurial and creative capacities, ultimately promoting a spirit of innovation. These InLabs provide students in participating schools the opportunity to learn design principles, collaboration, and creative thinking through a carefully crafted curriculum and access to a variety of tools.

The three core aspects which drive the InLabs projects are: safe and adequate physical spaces, technical tools, and mentorship and innovation leadership.

  • Physical Space

    GMin works with local schools and their staff to identify and create dedicated spaces for the InLab accessible to all interested students. These spaces are designed to enable creativity and freedom.

  • Technical Tools

    InLabs are equipped with technical tools in the form of themed toolkits (e.g., crafts, digital media and electronic toolkits) and a curriculum guide for fostering innovation and design thinking including practical guidance through relevant case examples.
  • Mentorship and Innovation Leadership

    Innovation Clubs, open to any interested students, are formed at each participating school. Faculty mentors and student leaders of the Innovation Clubs are responsible for management and administration of InLabs. Additionally, GMin staff coordinate with faculty mentors and student leaders of the Innovation Club in each school to organize workshops, hands on learning activities and provide support for equipment and materials.

In summary, InLabs serve as a haven, symbol, and space for innovation, where students develop evolving prototypes and experience the creative freedom to explore new learning pathways and problem solving techniques.

Apply  To Host an InLab:

Innovate Salone is committed to providing the necessary resources to foster a culture of innovation and creativity among Sierra Leonean youth so that they can play key roles in the social and economic development of their country. Innovation as a product, and more importantly as a process, is related to mind, community, and physical spaces. Innovate Salone seeks to create opportunities to change mindsets, facilitate mentorship, develop community among innovators, and provide access to safe physical spaces with tools for exploration.

Innovate Salone will develop Innovation Labs (InLabs) in four secondary schools in Sierra Leone over the next two years. This initial investment will be the pilot of a larger project to make InLabs commonplace in every school and community in Sierra Leone. Initial InLabs will be based in select schools that have demonstrated a willingness and interest to provide resources to support innovation. Any secondary school in Sierra Leone that has previously had a finalist in the “A De Mek Am” competition, is particularly encouraged to apply to be a pilot school for InLabs.

Schools will be asked to fill out a short application to express their interest, and will be chosen based on the ability to support innovation in their schools. Technical tools, content and other materials will be provided to students who access the InLabs. These students will experiment with their own ideas using the InLab’s tools and resources and would they would have access to high quality mentorship.

The three core requirements for InLabs are adequate physical space, technical tools, and mentorship and innovation leadership. Innovate Salone and school staff will work together to identify a dedicated space for the InLab which will be accessible to all interested students. Technical tools will be provided in the form of themed toolkits (e.g., digital media and electronic toolkit, crafting kit, computer-aided design and manufacturing) and a curriculum guide for fostering innovation that will include practical guidance through relevant case examples. Innovation Clubs, open to any interested students, will be formed in each school. Faculty mentors and student leaders of the Innovation Clubs will be responsible for the management and administration of InLabs.

The InLabs will initially serve as a haven, symbol, and space for innovation, where students will develop evolving prototypes and experience the creative freedom needed to explore new ways of thinking and problem solving. Certainly, that freedom will expand beyond the walls of the InLabs.

Application Questions

Schools interested in being a pilot school for the Innovate Salone InLabs program should kindly e-mail us addressing each of the questions below:

School Name:

School Address:

Principal:

Innovation Faculty Leader 1:

Innovation Faculty Leader 2:

Email and/or phone number:

Why is your school interested in hosting an Innovation Lab (InLab)?

Does your school have the physical space to support an InLab? If so, please explain. Note, the InLabs could have 3D printers, and other machinery.

Does your school have computers, laptops, cameras and other technology? If so, please submit an inventory of such tools.

Does your school have other technical tools or a workshop? If so, please explain. Are those available to the students for use?

Does your school have security measures in place to protect the InLab resources?

How does your school plan to provide mentorship and innovation leadership?

Would your school be able to start and support an Innovation Club?

Would your school facilitate hands-on learning workshops and experiences for other students and other community members?

What other resources (tools or financial) does your school anticipate to invest in maintaining the InLabs?