Our laboratory classroom in Santa Clara is designed to stimulate children’s imaginations and promote creative problem-solving. We also have a large multi-purpose room for experiments that require more space (scroll down to see it).
Our laboratory is also our classroom area, and this is where we host field trip groups and homeschool classes. It's an inventor's workshop where, surrounded by fantastic gadgets and exotic equipment, “Mr. Mac” develops new lessons. Then he test-drives them with homeschoolers, often using their suggestions to refine the stories and experiments before taking them out to public and private schools.
In this magical space, our innovative, exciting, project-oriented curriculum covers a wide variety of science topics such as electricity and magnetism, engineering, potential and kinetic energy, chemistry, and physics.
Our laboratory contains equipment that we don’t take to other schools, so students who come here for field trips, summer camps, or homeschool classes often have the chance to do experiments they would usually never see until college, including exploding bubbles, million-volt lightning bolts, chemistry with real chemicals, and hundreds of other experiments that have been created in our lab.
Mr. Mac with five of his Van de Graaf generators in various sizes. The largest one, which he built himself, can generate million-volt lightning bolts!
A local muralist, Larry Jakubecz, painted this enchanting floor-to-ceiling mural in our front office. It’s a complete wraparound landscape that covers all four walls, depicting the elven realm of Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. Click here to see closeups of the mural on Larry's web site.
When we added a second classroom, we again called on Larry to paint a mural. This one covers three walls of this large room and represents the bizarre and adventurous world of Jack and Jill, the heroes of Mr. Mac’s “crazy stories.” It includes many of the strange creatures and characters that inhabit this world, including The Evil Mister Fred, minions, kick-mes, and of course the Acme Store of Everything. The photo above is Jack & Jill's home, and the one below is Evil Mister Fred's.
Jillian DeCicco, a homeschool mom, painted this castle entrance, adding several three-dimensional touches. The lanterns are real, the portcullis is made of foam, and the minion in the lower left is holding a real baseball bat!
It takes real courage to walk into our second bathroom, thanks to Larry's trompe l'oeil floor painting. We call it the Barathrum (latin for "pit" or "abyss.")