Prattville Christian Academy’s IDEA Lab is a cross-curricular STEAM environment that allows students to extend traditional classroom language arts and reading lessons into hands-on experiences designed to provide multi-sensory learning. PCA’s IDEA Lab houses a design space, media center, and library for students in grades K-7.
Students may search through PCA’s book inventory online in an easy-to-use digital catalog. Click here to begin browsing through the library’s more than 8,000 books.
The design space exposes students to standards-aligned science, technology, engineering, arts, and math concepts by walking them through design thinking processes. In addition to the people, places, and things that students read about when checking out books, students analyze and empathize, make social-emotional connections and engage in real-life problem solving and designing.
Extended Language Arts & Writing Concepts
Discussion prompts and collaborative experiences on dry-erase tables prompt reading reflection, real-world connections and the use of creative expression to demonstrate comprehension through writing and art.
IDEA Lab experiences also make use of several media resources that coincide and align with ISTE standards (International Society for Technology in Education.) This enables students to develop the digital citizenship skills that are necessary in today’s technology-driven, business world.
Online resources, such as Storyline Online, virtual field trips, educational sites, and Google Suite tools are also used to support teaching and learning. Students can utilize online tools for researching, documenting and presenting information to develop life skills that will be used beyond PCA’s campus.
Accelerated Reader Program
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a research-based, reading program designed to help lower school students improve reading skills. Specific times are made available for students to visit the IDEA Lab to test reading comprehension and meet reading goals.
Therapy Dog Visits
A certified therapy dog visits lower school students weekly for a special reading experience. Students practice their reading skills by reading to the dog, petting, and interacting with him. In addition to improving reading skills, these visits provide a social-emotional benefit to the experience.
Book fairs are held during the fall and spring of each school year. These events help support efforts to fund various needs for the IDEA Lab. Students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to shop for their favorite books as well as other items that might be of interest to them.
Middle School Learning Lab (MSLL)
Middle School students visit PCA’s IDEA Lab weekly for time to engage in digital citizenship, life, career and social skill development, S.T.E.A.M concepts and more. Classes are provided with autonomy in tool and project choice. Artifacts created throughout the year are organized in student-created, digital portfolios that students can take with them into future grade levels.