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New South Coast Learning Lab Hoping To Nurture The Tech Brains Of Tomorrow

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Ventura County Office of Education
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The LMNOP Lab in Camarillo is a new interactive learning environment.

If you think of school classrooms as places with rows of desks, all facing forward – then a new so-called ‘lab’ in Ventura County will make you think again.

A modern and high-tech learning experience is being piloted in Camarillo.

Middle school students from Somis School are grouped around circular desk pods, in teams.

They’re seated not on chairs but on multi-coloured stools which are easy to rearrange in the room.

An interactive white board is available, and the teachers move around between the students.

This is the LMNOP Lab in Camarillo – which stands for Learning Makes New Opportunities Possible.

Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Cesar Morales says the Lab is designed with the resources to inspire the next generation to learn.

"You're seeing a lot of interaction with the students themselves problem-solving and those are those critical thinking skills that a lot of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) activities really foster.

"In this lab we hope it be a destination where we can highlight a lot of the STEAM activities and make it come alive," says Morales.

The lab is outfitted with hands-on tools students need to create various technology-oriented projects.

These students are learning to code.

"It's getting kids to understand how to work computers," says Director of Educational Technology at VCOE Catherine Reznicek.

She says it’s an exciting opportunity for the students to be immersed in a different kind of classroom experience.

"We want the kids - and people - to be in control of what computers are doing, not computers controlling us," says Reznicek.

And Somis school student Zach Lane agrees that it’s fun.

"I like being challenged and I like coding," he says.

It’s hoped the pilot program will lead to opening the LMNOP Lab to students countywide.