This past June, Dayton High school received the TechXcellence award from District Administration Magazine, an educational magazine that features stories all across the United States. As only one of 14 schools in the country to receive this prestigious honor, Dayton High School was recognized for its groundbreaking i3 Center and the students that utilize it.

This award highlights what so special about Dayton High School. The i3 Center is a multidimensional makerspace that gives all students and staff a creative space to support innovation and invention. This crucial community resource, along with the drive to learn from Dayton’s students, has carved out a nationally recognized spot in education.

Dayton High Schoolers also understand the implications of the work they are doing in this space too. Not only do they see how this space is shaping their school but by designing projects in the innovation class, they can see how they can apply the skills and knowledge they’re learning in the i3 Center to jobs they want to hold in the future.

For example, working in partnership with the Lemelson-MIT program, students learned how to build and design shoe molds. The project taught them about design and manufacturing as well as prototype development. Some students even sent their finished prototype to Nike.

Shoe design isn’t the only way that the students have worked on to put their new skills to the test. Students, for instance, learned how to design and build their own apps. These projects taught them not only coding but how to think creatively to solve real world problems.

In the past few years, the students and staff have turned Dayton High School into a nationally recognized school for innovation. They have partnered with both MIT and Stanford to continue to develop their programs and show that anyone, no matter their age, background or test scores, can truly be a Maker.