Global Competitiveness, Community Roots
With a rapidly evolving global economy, school districts must prepare students to succeed in an increasingly competitive global environment. As a result, it is necessary to not only re-think curricula, but also facilities, to support a multidisciplinary approach, greater flexibility and the integration of sophisticated technology. A major focus is fostering STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning, recognizing that these jobs are growing exponentially faster than others and are key to solving the world’s greatest challenges.
The design process for Booker T. Washinton’s STEM Academy was heavily community-focused, and included holding workshops to ensure their thoughts helped inform its design. As a result of this process, the architectural concept strengthens the school’s academic communities and creates a STEM-centric, project-based learning environment that incorporates learning tools such as text and graphics throughout the building. Each academy is inwardly focused, forming a cluster of three learning studios that open on to a communal gathering and project workspace. The gathering and project workspaces also serve a piazza for discussion and collaboration. CannonDesign shaped these spaces to support the whole child approach to learning, based on the core principle that every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.
The STEM lab has immediate access to an outdoor learning area designed to integrate the school’s science curriculum with its surroundings, fostering a sense of community and environmental stewardship in the students.
The school is symbolic of what can happen when Unit 4 and the community work together for our students. This is an outstanding 21st-century world-class school.
– Robert Malito, Interim Superintendent