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EDI Fellows

EDI Fellows working at a table

Engineering, Design, and Innovation (EDI) Fellows explore the potential for engineering and design to promote equity and build sustainable communities.  

EDI Fellows collaborate with local and broader community partners to identify challenges they face and develop innovative responses.  By engaging in the iterative nature of the engineering process and investigating creative solutions to problems, EDI Fellows learn through practice and cultivate values of civic-minded leaders. 


Program Update

EDI Fellows

Spring 2024

The Engineering, Design, and Innovation (EDI) Fellows have used the first part of the second semester to push their projects to completion before the end of the school year.  The little free pantry we constructed for the Global Affairs Fellows is ready to move to its permanent location on the Eastern Shore.   Our 10th grade EDI Fellows have teamed up with Junior Brock Becker to create obstacles and boundaries for Lower School P.E.  Seniors Sam Bibeau and Will Crouch have nearly finished construction of a wind tunnel to be used in the new Upper School engineering class that will begin next year.  In mid-January, the baseball coaches reached out to us about constructing an artificial pitcher's mound for use in the enclosed baseball practice area.  Junior Jude Carroll has led the effort to meet their request and we expect they will finish in the next few weeks.  To finish the year and prepare students for summer travel the EDI Fellows will be hosting several visitors to campus including local entrepreneur Pratik Kothari (TechArk) who will talk to students about innovating in the business sector and NA parent Mitchell Murphy (Mmm Good Studio) will run a design workshop for us in early May.

Fall 2023

The EDI Fellows rode the momentum of a great summer trip in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area of Michigan to a successful first semester. Our new sophomore cohort took on an introductory-level project of making metal-lined squat wedges for Coach Carrezola in the weight room. Since then, they have started a couple of new projects: obstacles and foldable edges for the mini golf mats used in Lower School P.E. and modular frames for Mrs. Marshall. Many of our juniors and seniors are involved with a project, spearheaded by Zoe Jones ’24, to design and build a little free pantry for the Global Affairs Fellows to bring with them to their partners on the Eastern Shore. Olivia Reid '25 continued working on a recycling system for plastic water bottles that will turn them into filament that can be used in the school's 3D printers and Will Crouch '24 worked all semester with a nonprofit to develop educational tools for students wanting to learn about artificial intelligence and how to analyze large data sets.  Sam Bibeau ’24 is hard at work 3D designing and building a wind tunnel from scratch that Mr. Bird hopes to utilize in his Physics & Engineering courses next year for lessons on fluid dynamics.

We also focused many of our learning opportunities this semester on the D (Design) in EDI, recognizing that as directors we had not given it the attention it deserved. We heard from Karen Rudd, Norfolk Arts Manager, and Ms. Betsy DiJulio, U.S. visual arts teacher, about the benefits of community art and design projects. Ms. DiJulio also recently led an interactive workshop on food packaging design and marketing. It has sparked some interest in our students as well. Brock Becker ’25 led a group of students in building a large hand-weaving loom for Ms. DiJulio that she used for a public art project at the Fantastic Planet festival at ODU.

Lastly, we were recently granted approval for our 2024 summer trip to the Salt Lake/Logan region of Utah. Graduate researchers, under the guidance of Dr. Wade Goodridge, in the Engineering Education department at Utah State University will put our students through some personalized workshops. Additionally, we plan to visit the Space Dynamics Laboratory, which is a billion-dollar-plus R&D facility that does some incredible work. We will also visit several innovative companies in the engineering and technology space that make the area one of the nation’s fastest-growing start-up hubs. It is shaping up to be a fantastic trip for our students!