Our Mission

With a focus on well-being, curiosity, and creativity, we design and implement interdisciplinary, student-centered projects in public schools. We recognize, value, and build upon individual and community strengths, competencies, and talent. We are committed to regional cultural exchange and educational equity. We develop curriculum in partnership with students, families, district colleagues, and community partners.

Our Vision

Every young person attending their local public school will learn and grow in a caring environment that nourishes their well-being, curiosity, and creativity.


"What we do in Project Lab is adventurous. We do a mixture of things, and learn a little about every subject. I learned to be creative and to think outside the box. I learned not to give up. I learned to achieve a higher standard than I thought I could. I became more social."

— Terriona T., 8th grade




Inda Schaenen | Founder & Executive Director

Inda Schaenen is a writer and teacher in St. Louis. Her most recent book is Speaking of Fourth Grade: What Listening to Kids Tells Us About School in America (The New Press, 2015). Since 2013, Inda has served as a certified language arts teacher in Normandy Schools.



Brittany Kelleher is the Chief Operating Officer of Kairos Academies, a Saint Louis Public Schools middle school. Prior to her work at Kairos, Brittany was a Senior Consultant and Midwest Office Lead for Wellspring Consulting, She holds a B.A. from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude and with an award-winning thesis on Black Identity.



Ralph Ruffin is a police Corporal with Normandy Police Department and a Normandy alumnus. Ralph is passionate about serving young people and has devoted his career to youth advocacy, mentorship, and community engagement. He studied political science at Webster University and has since been committed to teaching and learning.