I-Lab Engineering & Design Thinking Teacher, 2022-23

The Nueva School
May 8, 2022
Redwood City, CA
Job Type


The Nueva School

I-Lab Engineering & Design Thinking Teacher (Upper School)

Full Time

The Position

We seek a candidate with experience in engineering, design thinking, and/or fabrication, and a demonstrated interest in working with young people in a rich, cross-disciplinary, project­-based learning environment. For the 2022-2023 school year, the teaching responsibilities would include some sections of the required 9th grade Design with Impact classes and engineering elective courses such as “Introduction to Mechanical Engineering,” “Advanced Mechanical Engineering,” and “Mechatronics”. This position aligns with the Nueva academic calendar (mid-August to mid-June), and is a full-time position with competitive salary and full benefits. We are looking for a candidate to start in August 2022.

This is a unique opportunity for a visionary engineering and design educator to join our team as we continue to develop and refine an innovative and world-class PreK­-12 Design Engineering and Computer Science program, based out of the I-Lab. We are a diverse group of educators with a mix of experiences in both industry and education, and we are excited to add someone to our team who can complement and broaden our team’s collective skill set. While the ideal candidate will have prior experience teaching at the K-12 and/or postsecondary level, we are also open to considering candidates without experience in formal K-12 education and can provide some teacher training support through our Innovative Teachers Program.

At Nueva, design thinking is not simply a process to follow, but rather a mindset we want all our students (and teachers!) to embrace. Design thinking to us means approaching the world with optimism, working with and learning from others with compassion and humility, and courageously believing in everyone’s creative abilities – including your own. In the I-Lab, we ground ourselves firmly in design thinking while expanding the realm of what’s possible when design thinking is combined with engineering, fabrication, and computer science skills.

As with all classes at Nueva, I-Lab classes are built upon the pedagogical foundation of experiential learning. You must be highly flexible, agile, and excited by the possibility of leveraging student interests, picking up new technologies, and learning alongside students to create authentic and meaningful learning experiences. Recent elective offerings have included “Design Engineering for Social Good,” “Kinetic Art,” “Introduction to Fabrication,” “Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” “Creature Comforts,” and “Mechatronics: Cosplay, Steampunk, and Toy Design.”

We are seeking applicants who represent the full diversity of our community in the Bay Area. Our ideal candidate will possess a deep appreciation for the diverse socioeconomic, racial, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, academic, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. In joining our team at Nueva, you will become a part of an inclusive, iterative and equity-minded community that recognizes that equity and social justice is a lens with which we examine all aspects of our school community in order to ensure an educational experience where all students and colleagues can thrive. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Nueva, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with .

The General Responsibilities for an I-Lab Design Engineer are to:

  • Teach engineering and design courses expertly in a differentiated and student-centered classroom with an emphasis on “learning by doing”
  • Design engaging curricula, taking into account both the overall learning arc of the entire course as well as the nitty-gritty planning of individual lessons (i.e. what and how are you going to teach tomorrow?)
  • Actively create an inclusive culture in our courses that honor all students wherever they are on their learning journey
  • Collaborate with colleagues to design learning opportunities that emphasizes critical thinking and real-world problem-solving, engages students in hands-on, project-based experiences, and aligns with the overall philosophy of the I-Lab program
  • Convey enthusiasm for intellectual inquiry and model lifelong learning
  • Partner with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to promote learning in all students
  • Participate actively as an I-Lab team member, including creating a welcoming and inclusive culture in the I-Lab, ensuring students are being supervised in the shops, and guiding students in safe and responsible use of technology (including software)
  • Model flexibility in implementing school-wide practices such as standards-based grading
  • Provide timely feedback to students and parents in the forms of assessments, quarterly written narrative feedback, and student-parent-teacher conferences
  • Support the social and emotional well-being of all students by partnering with grade-level deans, administrators, and parents
  • Serve as a grade-level advisor to students, lead student activities, serve as club advisor, and contribute beyond the classroom to support school programs and activities
  • Participate actively in other aspects of the student experience such as chaperoning trips and events, serving on committees, and developing new programs at the school
  • Lead by example in your commitment to Nueva’s mission: “Our school community inspires passion for lifelong learning, fosters social and emotional acuity, and develops the student’s imaginative mind.”
  • Other duties as assigned

You would enjoy this role if you have

  • Strong interest in PK-12 engineering education, helping students see the many ways in which engineering and design thinking can be applicable in their lives, and providing students with diverse entry points to become confident engineers, designers, and makers
  • Interest in working with young people to guide them in taking their ideas from initial prototypes to completion, while leaving the locus of control in students’ hands, all in the service of broadening their skills and confidence in the areas of engineering, fabrication, and design
  • Enthusiasm for learning new technologies quickly and designing curriculum accordingly in order to respond to emergent student interests
  • Desire to immerse yourself in the many facets of our I-Lab program, including core classes, electives, supporting student projects from other classes, mentoring robotics teams, etc.
  • Desire to learn by doing and to learn with/from others, including students and adults
  • Flexibility and creativity in working in a dynamic team environment where new ideas, mistakes, and iteration are embraced
  • Profound openness to feedback and improvement, modeling lifelong learning of practice as well as subject area.

We are looking for someone with some subset of the following

  • Demonstrated experience with mechanical engineering, electronics, and design, and familiarity with some special topics in the engineering and design space
  • Demonstrated experience with design thinking as a set of techniques and tools to help with navigating complex problems
  • Familiarity and experience with some of the design and fabrication processes available in our I-Lab shops, such as laser cutting, 3D printing, textiles, woodworking, CAD/CAM, CNC machining, welding, robotics, electronics, physical computing (such as Arduinos), etc.
  • Steadfast commitment to shop safety, respectful behavior, and inclusive attitudes
  • Ability to explain things in varied ways to reach both less-experienced and more-experienced students
  • Ability to guide students through projects while allowing students to do as much of the work as is practical and safe
  • Experience working with young people in a teaching, coaching, or other educational capacity
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a variety of audiences, including students, parents, and colleagues, both in person and in writing
  • Deep interest and willingness to learn and grow in any of the above areas, especially those that are not currently familiar to you
  • Bachelor's degree, or higher, in engineering or a related field and/or relevant industry experience

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and the contact information and job title for at least three professional references at . If you have questions about this position, please contact I-Lab Director Angi Chau ().

The Nueva School is an Equal Opportunity Employer – we do not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability or sex. We welcome applications from people of color and those with experience outside the education field.

About The Nueva School

The Nueva School, an internationally recognized, nonprofit, independent day school, has served gifted learners since 1967. Today, Nueva serves nearly 1000 students in grades PreK–12. Nueva is located in the neighboring towns of Hillsborough and San Mateo, equidistant between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, serving six counties throughout the Bay Area of Northern California.

A constructivist school, Nueva is known for its distinctive inquiry-based interdisciplinary studies, project-based learning, and pioneering work in social-emotional learning and design thinking. The Nueva community instills a passion for lifelong learning, fosters social and emotional acuity, and develops the imaginative mind. Our school has received the US Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award and the American Institute of Architects Award for School Design and Sustainability, has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program and appointed an Ashoka Changemaker School, co-founded the Common Ground Speaker Series, hosts the biennial Innovative Learning Conference, and was highlighted by the Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times best-selling author Thomas Friedman in his book That Used to Be Us in the chapter “Average Is Over.”

For more information about The Nueva School, visit our website:

About the Innovation Lab (I-Lab):

Nueva’s I-Lab program was built on the foundation that while we may not be able to predict what the world will look like when our current students enter the work force, we are confident that the ability to solve complex problems will never go out of style. In the I-Lab, students learn to embrace design thinking as a nonlinear process that provides mindsets and techniques to guide them as they tackle open-ended problems that do not have immediate, easy solutions. Through working with real problems and users, students develop their empathetic, curious, and creative mindsets while learning how to brainstorm, prototype, and iterate solutions. Students in the I-Lab engage daily in the process of design, prototyping, making, and engineering, whether this comes in the form of developing a mobile app, writing code for a wearable device, or 3D-printing a prosthetic.

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