The Waukee Innovation & Learning Center (WILC) has won the 2019 Learn by Design award program hosted by SxSW EDU. The project was one of seven finalists from around the world, and was chosen for celebrating the collaboration that takes place between designers and educators in pursuit of creating groundbreaking physical learning environments.

WILC unites educational curriculum and business acumen all under one roof. Created to host the Waukee Community School District’s Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) program – a collaboration between education, business and the community that helps develop highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders – the facility breaks from traditional layouts and leaves the idea of a standard school behind. It provides spaces dedicated to the five core APEX strands: Business and Finance, Engineering, Technology, Health Services, Biosciences and Added Value Agriculture. Through areas including studios, workshops, labs, enclaves and a co-working zone known as The Hub, students, staff and local business partners can learn, meet and engage.

SxSW EDU isn’t the first accolade WILC has received – Apple CEO Tim Cook also praised the facility in The Des Moines Register: “I consider it a model for the school of the future. But the great thing is, it’s happening today.” More information on the win can be found here.