The BVR Research + Design Center—which opened in 2017—is a state-of-the-art building located at the center of our campus that provides our students from 6th to 12th grades the resources and support to create, innovate, explore, and build. The space includes two audio and video recording studios; a design workshop; presentation spaces; a materials library filled with an ever-evolving collection of “stuff” (fabrics, resins, malleable metals, wood, etc.), and an entire floor dedicated to research.

All students have access to the Research + Design Center (aka R+D Center), and we see a wide variety of classes using the space and the tools.

On any given day, an 8th grade English class might be creating podcasts about the novel they’re reading, a 10th grade Biology class might be building models of the digestive system out of recycled materials, and an Entrepreneurship class might be having a Zoom conversation with a recent Beaver alum who just started their own business.

We also offer a wide range of co-curricular activities where students can teach a robotic submarine to navigate an underwater obstacle course, learn how to hydro dip their sneakers, or write code to create their own hacks for Minecraft.

In addition to all of the projects happening in classes, students are frequently working on their own passion projects. You’ll often see students visiting the R+D Center during their free time to build battery-powered roller skates, laser-cut gifts for their grandparents, and more.

Tools & Resources

Here is a sampling of the tools, technology, and resources available to students in the R+D Center:

Research & Library Tools

  • OverDrive subscription (ebooks and audiobooks)
  • Full access to the New York Times and other news sources
  • 50+ research databases covering history, science, and culture
  • R+D Center website

Design Tools

  • Two laser cutters
  • Six 3D printers
  • CNC router
  • Jewelry station
  • Two recording studios
  • Four Oculus VR headsets
  • Two vacuformers
  • Prototyping supplies (hot glue guns, duct tape, sticky notes, etc.)
  • Materials library (where students have access to everything from fabric samples to salvaged stereo equipment)
  • Software (OnShape for 3D modeling, Adobe Photoshop for image editing, p5 for coding, etc.)

Examples of work from the R+D Center

Read more about our mindset behind technology.