Architects Rebecca Savage and Todd Hanger participated in Illinois Metro East STEM Society’s STEM Night on Thursday, March 3. The event was held at Wingate Elementary School and was open to Wingate students and surrounding elementary schools within the Illinois Metro East to establish a community of interest inclusive of local businesses, individuals and organizations focused on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) efforts to youth. Rebecca and Todd represented FGM with activities for attendees to challenge their 3D thinking skills.
FGM provided programming, master planning and architectural services for the new 112,000 sf Wingate Elementary School, which was completed in August 2015. Each classroom wing features a centralized extended learning area including sinks for experiments and other projects and movable teaching walls to create highly flexible, dynamic teaching spaces.
Many school districts are choosing to create their own unique STEM labs, classrooms or spaces, similar to Wingate Elementary’s centralized learning areas. Each of these spaces have the same commonality—the combination of multiple sciences and otherwise separate subjects into one class as part of an interdisciplinary curriculum. Students typically learn how the subject matters complement and coordinate with each other through problem-based learning. The goal is to produce students who are better-rounded and are able to apply critical thinking to real world situations.
Extended Learning Areas
Learning happens everywhere. Small group activities, one-on-one instruction and project-based learning can happen outside the classrooms in space also designed for circulation, in areas specifically planned for extended learning or in flexible spaces with more than one use. Twenty-first century educational design incorporates adaptable space for adaptable learning situations.