Portfolio: The Design Lab At DC Public Schools | LAI Video

The Design Lab

From promoting new student programs to highlighting teaching excellence, LAI Video proudly spotlights what happens when we empower our students and teachers. So when DC Public Schools reached out to us to raise awareness about its innovative Design Lab programs, we couldn’t be more excited. Using Hendley and Ludlow-Taylor elementary schools as case studies, our Design Lab videos highlight what’s possible when schools and communities come together to reimagine education.

Designing Our Approach

Launched in 2018, the Design Lab provides educators with the network, resources, and support that they need to boldly redesign learning experiences for their students. 11 schools from seven wards belong to this special-ops cohort of innovative educators looking to rebuild the standard curriculum to focus on the whole child—to develop out-of-the-box programing that equips public school communities to compete with the private and charter options that often neglect students who are furthest from opportunity.

After learning about the Design Lab’s ambitious roster of pilot programs, Melinda and Loizou proposed a case study approach that spotlights two very active and very different programs—the fitness-first approach of Hendley Elementary School and the competitive engineering and Ludlow-Taylor Elementary Sschool, we devised a plan that would show the Design Lab programs in action and celebrate their success. 

Our Video Design Lab

With the pilot programs identified, we set out to capture the perspectives of the students, teachers, administrators, and community partners that reflect the Design Lab’s unique approach. As producer, Alexandria spoke with participants, positioning the notably wide-thinking educators within equally wide interview shots.

Jun and De’von shot the video with gorgeous, slow-motion cinematography and captured rich soundbites from the students, who remained mic’ed as they gardened and raced their “Sparklebots”—the creations of Ludlow-Taylor’s all-girls robotics team. These soundbites are interwoven throughout the videos, immersing viewers in a rich, first-hand school experience. As Creative Director, Favata applied rich color gradients, adding a level of “pop’’ to the videos’ already vibrant classroom and playground settings.

Redesigning For The Future

While the pilot programs had distinct objectives, each was designed as part of a series, establishing the groundwork for future episodes that tout Design Lab’s role in continuously improving education. By highlighting the lasting impact that these programs are having on students, DC parents will become informed about important initiatives happening in their children’s schools or across the school system, and more schools will be encouraged to participate. The videos provide a snapshot of DCPS’ commitment to fostering innovative educational methods and experiences—and the role of entire school communities in making them happen.