Cranbrook Schools announces educational collaboration with the Edgerton Center
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Cranbrook Schools has announced it is the first school in the Midwest to form an educational collaboration with the Edgerton Center at MIT. The collaboration between the two schools is an initiative that will empower Cranbrook faculty to accelerate innovation and Design Thinking in their curriculum and teaching. In return, Cranbrook Schools will be a testing site for the Edgerton Center with the potential to change the way K-12 curriculum is developed nationally.

“Cranbrook Schools is honored to be the first school in the Midwest to be selected as part of this unique educational collaboration with the MIT Edgerton Center,” said Arlyce M. Seibert, Director of Cranbrook Schools. “For more than a century, Cranbrook has been dedicated to breaking new ground in education. This collaboration is truly a milestone in our approach to experiential learning, with one of the most innovative schools in the country.”      

The collaboration with the Edgerton Center will build upon Cranbrook Schools’ unparalleled learning environment and reputation as a global educational leader. In addition, Cranbrook is committed to sharing what it discovers with the broader education community in order to offer students everywhere greater educational opportunities in the 21st century.

“The Edgerton Center is excited about our relationship with a school such as Cranbrook, which has an international reputation for rigor and excellence,” said Bob Vieth, K-12 Project Coordinator at the Edgerton Center. “The staff at Cranbrook has shown a deep commitment to the program and has enthusiastically embraced our work. At the same time, we at the Edgerton Center look forward to working with Cranbrook educators to improve our understanding of teaching and learning in the K-12 classroom,” continued Vieth.

The initiative will bring experiential learning to Cranbrook, drawing on the Edgerton Center’s 20+ years in the field of K-12 education. This includes problem-based learning, inquiry, and the use of Maker Studios to enhance student engagement at all grade levels and across all content areas.

Prof. J. Kim Vandiver, Forbes Director of the Edgerton Center and Dean for Undergraduate Research, is heartened by the new collaboration. “Cranbrook Schools strikes me as an oasis for exploratory learning. This collaboration is our first footstep into the Midwest and we’re excited to see how we can help move the needle on education for students in the 21st century,” Vandiver remarked.

Cranbrook students are already benefiting from this collaboration.  Seventy of its faculty engaged in a workshop this past summer devoted to learning and integrating the Design Thinking process into their curriculum.  Students are already utilizing the Design Thinking process to solve problems ranging from how they might solve math problems, learn about different parts of the country, design a new kind of backpack, and build roller coasters. A series of MIT-led workshops are taking place over the course of this year and in 2017.

Later this fall, Cranbrook will utilize a hands-on kit developed by MIT to teach DNA and proteins in cell biology.

Cranbrook was born over a century ago out of the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation at Cranbrook engages all learners in creative processes to design and implement solutions for real-world problems and its culture of innovation is driven by a commitment to excellence, quality, and integrity, and supports thoughtful risk-taking by its students.

To learn more about Cranbrook Schools, visit