Innovation at Synapse is a cohesive 9-year program that is dedicated to developing creative fluency and confidence, to help students bridge the gap between imagination and action. Innovation classes include Computer Science and Technology, Performing Arts (music, drama, movement), Visual Arts & Design, and Social Innovation. Our students:

  • Learn to master the design-thinking competencies of the Synapse Innovation Model.

  • Hone EQ competencies and a Growth Mindset.

  • Acquire new skills in a variety of subject areas and the confidence to use them.

  • Explore an integrative approach to their academic projects.


The Innovation Model

The Synapse Innovation Model contains eight competencies to help students Explore a challenge, Envision potential solutions, and Execute on their vision. Our model is cyclical to signify that the pursuit for positive change is iterative and a never-ending quest. Our Innovation Model is fueled by our EQ model - Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself. Both models integrate seamlessly to generate a process that is dedicated to a noble goal, in service of others, and inspired by empathy.



Integrated Projects

Some examples of year-long, all school, cross-disciplinary projects that epitomize Innovation at Synapse include:



Synapse students’ wings answered the question: “What can I do to make this world a better place?” Designed to raise awareness to real-world problems, the wings also call for action. Drawing inspiration from both the life’s work of Rachel Carson, our honored change maker for the school year 2013-14, and our EQ theme of the year: Crisis and Opportunity, students created their wings using recycled and repurposed materials. This project illustrates Synapse’s core values of empowering our students to be agents of change through creative expression.

Data Art

With Data Art, students worked individually and collaboratively on an installation that was inspired by art and science. Approximately 300 students from both Synapse School and Connect Charter School explored the intersection of the sciences and the arts through this STEAM project that embodied our constructivist philosophy. Working with specialists, students generated their own insights and knowledge through authentic experiences. Students began by composing and recording original music and then used the digital file recordings of the music as their data source. They analyzed their music files using qualitative and quantitative science, technology and math tools. The results were translated into shape, form and color and painted onto the 300 individual panels that make up this modular, site-specific, large scale art installation.