Social Innovation Lab

Please join us May 3rd from 7:45-8:45 am in the MS Library to listen to:

Darius Graham, Director of the Social Innovation Lab at The Johns Hopkins University!

The Social Innovation Lab (SIL) at The Johns Hopkins University supports innovative nonprofits, mission-driven companies and disruptive technologies that aim to create change and opportunity in Baltimore and beyond.

Open to Baltimore-area changemakers and Johns Hopkins faculty, students and staff, SIL provides social entrepreneurs the funding, mentorship, office space and workshops they need to develop into thriving, sustainable ventures that make a measurable impact.



This year marks the Friends School of Baltimore first entry into the FabSLAM held by DIgital Harbor Foundation.  The FabSLAM is a multi-week, team-based, digital fabrication competition where youth learn and practice design, iteration, and rapid prototyping skills primarily focused on 3D Design and 3D Printing. A challenge theme is presented and each team works to develop a product that fits the theme and meets any accompanying requirements. Each team works with a Coach to help guide the team through the challenge and aid in documentation. FabSLAM culminates in a FabSLAM Showcase where teams present their products to a panel of judges and a public audience for review and feedback.

2017 Challenge Theme


For this challenge theme, identify a problem you may encounter when using transportation that could be addressed using 3D printing and digital fabrication.

More information:

  • Identify a problem you might encounter when using any form of transportation.
  • Use digital fabrication methods (3D printing) to create a solution to the problem you have identified.
    • This might be a fabricated model of a new approach to a transportation system problem,
    • OR it might be a product that would solve a specific need or problem encountered when using transportation

Teams of youth in grades 3-12 (with an adult coach) are invited to register and join us to compete in this 3D printing competition. It doesn’t matter where you are geographically located in Maryland, as long as you can attend the FabSLAM Showcase at the end of the program on Thursday May 4, 2017.


Middle School Librarian Mrs Thompson and Mr Barnes are coaching the middle school team.


Presentations are underway: 7th Grade Insterument project.

Presentations are underway: 7th Grade Insterument project—

Mrs Audette. Middle School Music

What I hope they are accomplishing and what they are actually accomplishing are quite different.  However, if they follow the plan presented in the original overview, they discuss the instrument in accordance to its western and world instrument designation.  Then they  describe the elements of the instrument in terms of how sound is created in that medium.  Each of the students give a step by step narrative of their processes, they play a piece or tell a story to demonstrate the functionality of the instrument, and they conclude by telling us what they have learned.


Throughout the process, we are cultivating curiosity,  creative problem solving, collaboration, time management, and above all, resilience.  They also learn how to use power tools and to craft and build instruments of their choice.  All of them learn – some by researching first, and some, in rare cases,  by building something that is sub standard.  Regardless, learning has taken place, and it can be applied anywhere else that life takes them.

–Mrs Audette. Middle School Music.

Écran vert!

Les étudiants de Français 2 vous présentent des vidéoguides touristiques de Paris crées avec une nouvelle application sur le iPad. M. Barnes leur a appris à utiliser cette technologie avec les ressources necessaires qui se trouvent dans l’atelier Makerspace au sous-sol du collège. C’est vraiment amusant et utile pour les cours de langues!

Today, Mrs Dahira Binford’s French 2 classes visited the Upper School makerspace for greenscreen demos and training by Mr Barnes.

Vespa Club update. Finesse vs brute force 

Today the Upper School Vespa restoration club made some headway on the 1968 V90 rebuild. “Getting engine seals seated correctly can be both a measure of brute force and gentle finesse.” Says Mr Antonio-Barnes. The students did really well today with getting the seals in and our engine should be finished within 3 more meetings. All are welcome to join. The club meets on days 3,4,10 L-Block in the Makerspace. 

History comes to life at FSB: A visit from Digital History Studios

We are happy to announce our latest guest in the Maker Speaker Series

in conjunction with the

Upper School History Department.

 Location and Time:

Thursday, March 23rd
1:05-2:20  Lunch and M Block

Upper School 300 Rooms
Pizza will be provided courtesy of the Maker Speaker Series

All divisions, faculty and students welcome.

Our guest Mr. Robert Cloutier of Digital History Studios we’ll be visiting our campus to share his games design experiences and 360 view Animation pieces that bring historical events to life. He has spent 12 years in the games industry working on many title’s. Mr Cloutier worked on a team that brought us:  Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

Mr. Cloutier will be speaking about his process of designing a virtual experience in a historical context, the types of gaming software he uses, research methods for his projects and careers in gaming. He’s worked on many historically based projects for major institutions such as Discovery, Smithsonian Institution and Newseum in Washington DC.


A mobile-based VR headset will be available for students to experience his games and 360 animation pieces during his presentation such as:

  • 1 Korean War piece – MIG-15 Aircraft over North Korea
  • 1 WWII piece – Berlin 1945
  • 1 Civil War piece (new) – Ironclads at Hampton Roads
  • 1 Cold War piece – A 360 render of the Berlin Wall project. currently being developed for the Newseum in Washington DC
  • 2 WWI pieces – Trench and Zeppelins over London

Mrs Molly Smith-Upper School History Department Chair

Rob Cloutier talked about how he was able to combine his love for history with his interest in technology, especially in the realm of virtual reality. He showed us some of the simulations he has worked on, but he also talked about his process. His work brings history to life; students were able to experience the Berlin Wall up close, or what is was like to walk through the streets of Berlin in 1945 or a World War I trench, or be in a fighter plane. He showed the students how a 3-d rendering of a map can convey information in such a powerful way, as we watched Napoleon’s army dwindle as his invasion of Russia ultimately failed.

We focus on research a lot in our history curriculum, and Rob spoke about the role of research in his process of learning in order to create his simulations. We often think of historians as writers, but Rob gave us a different way of thinking about history. He talked about the many different ways that history as a discipline can help students in a variety of career fields, which was great. At the same time, he may have sparked some students interest in becoming visual historians.

Links to Mr. Cloutier work

STEM talk Tuesday 3/28

Dr. Renee Blanding will be our STEM speaker this Tuesday 3/28 (Day 8) in Dr. Hilgartner’s room (SM 106) during L block.  
Since 1992, Dr. Renee Blanding has been a staff anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has served as medical director of the Medical Center’s operating room for seven years, and was named vice president of medical affairs in 2011.  She received her medical degree from University of Florida College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Anyone without an L block conflict is welcome to attend.  We hope to see you there.