What Really Is EC3?

by Matthew Li

In the last few weeks, if you have been anywhere near what was previously the lower school, you’ve probably seen or at least heard of EC3.

It may seem like EC3 is a new development, but it has been in the works for a few years now. For many of the upper schoolers, it’s just the area next to Farris hall, and maybe a place to get some work done before extracurricular activities. Even for me, having been down there frequently with the intention of making it a useful space for more students, I didn’t know what exactly “EC3” means to those in charge until I talked to Anna Rozzi, who is one of the people steering the whole operation.

For starters, the name EC3 refers to our inquiry cycle: Explore, Connect, Create, Commit. According to Anna, EC3 sounds like it could be the start of something huge, and certainly not just for upper schoolers. The current goal for the space is to make it a place where all of OES, K-12, can come together to create, collaborate, learn, etc. While we hear goals like these all the time as something we want to do for the “community”, this new space shows promise through loads of new equipment and free space. EC3 has several sewing machines, a woodshop, green screen room with lighting equipment, music studio, 3D printing, and more is being added all the time. Because “EC3 is in a constant state of iteration”, the space will always be growing.

Anna’s goal for the space is for it to become a space where motivated students can get “light” support from faculty in using the space for working on projects. The motto “if you don’t shine, we don’t shine” tells me that EC3 is an offering, for those who might choose to engage. However, there are no obligations to use the space. Personally, I could see EC3 turning into a mini Google type campus, where spending time on personal projects is supported. I myself have spoken to some faculty about showing films, and although I’ve been a bit lazy with getting it started, as soon as I brought it up the idea garnered plenty of support.

It seems that given some time, EC3 could be one of the most shared spaces within our community. Anna even told me that she would like to someday build it into the greater Portland community, where educational leaders and students can work together all around, possibly even to “reimagine what school can be”.

For any of you reading this who have some sort of idea for a creative project, I’d recommend taking a look around to see what EC3 can do for you, and what you can do for it.

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