The Wang Innovation Center
Pop Quiz! What can you do with 6,000 square feet?
The answer? Anything.
The Wang Innovation Center (shorthand: The Wang Center or WIC) is more than a makerspace or makersystem, where you might find a computer lab, a few 3-D printers or a CNC machine. The WIC is fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and software, enough to impress any architect, engineer or designer. Take a closer look at our equipment list.
Structurally, the WIC is divided into three creative spaces with specific functions — one to imagine and plan, one to prototype and one to build.
In the multimedia/design space, students can concept and plan a project or idea. In the fabrication area, prototyping begins and ideas come to life. The final space, the workshop or “dirty” space, is where prototypes can be made into final products with a large-scale wood and metal shop.
Since opening in 2016, the WIC has become a popular fixture on campus and if you pop into the space today, you'll find all kinds of activity. A class on artificial intelligence and machine learning, a student cutting out the fabric to sew her own Halloween costume, another making a mold of his face (because why not?) and a group of entrepreneurs at the garment printer running off custom designed t-shirts.
In a special episode of The WRAp, "senior tech correspondent" Peyton Oliver '22 takes a closer look at the WIC and all it has to offer — which, you'll find, is quite a lot! Watch the full video below to find out more.
We are open 59 hours per week to serve the Western Reserve Academy community with staff members available to assist.
Open Hours When School Is In Session:
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Open Hours When School Is Not Session:
Monday - Friday : 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Where there's a WIC, there's a way!
(a few hall-of-fame projects)
In the face of a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment, Chief Innovation Officer Matt Gerber worked with the WRA community to create and donate 2,000 face shields to first responders, hospitals and businesses.
The inaugural Compass class includes Pioneer Leo Holland '17 who repurposed donated textiles to sew his own colorful bow ties to sell in the Campus Store and used the profits to launch the business incubator "ReStyled Reserve."
When Director of Education Technology Caitlin Fritz teaches subtractive manufacturing, she makes it delicious! Students make molds to create their own custom-designed chocolate. After all, hard work should be rewarded!
ready, set, explore!
Take a closer look at what the WIC has to offer
Meet the WIC Team!
Matt Gerber is our Chief Innovation Officer and all-round maestro of the Wang Innovation Center. He also teaches in our Integrated Studies & Design department, including courses like a Digital Fabrication and Engineering, Advanced Digital Engineering and Fabrication, Engineering and Fabrication, 3D Printing and Design, E-Textiles and Wearables, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Automation and Idea to Product at Reserve.
Director of Education Technology Caitlin Fritz is a member of our Technology Team and enjoys assisting with the implementation of new technologies in the classroom and fostering the many opportunities to be creative and innovative in the use of technology. Inside the WIC, Ms. Fritz teaches Graphic Design, Video Editing and Learn to Make.
Integrated Studies & Design Faculty Member Eric Miller is a maker in many forms, including graphic design and woodworking. Prior to coming to WRA, he was the owner of ArtHouse Construction & Remodel. The father of four boys, he is currently building a timber-framed treehouse. You can often find Mr. Miller hard at work in the WIC, imparting wisdom and technical know-how! Technical Theater Director Brandon Davies and Registrar Lois Howell are proud members of Team WIC. Mr. Davies hosts many of his Stagecraft classes inside the workshop side of the WIC to build the impressive sets for our theater performances. Mrs. Howell joined sessions of the E-Textiles and Wearables classes to show students the ins and outs of the sewing machine.