Berwyn North School District 98 wanted to reimagine its current elementary school computer lab into a dynamic Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) Studio. Inspired by the colors and energy of the local community, our team used three core principles to develop the design:
1.) fostering connectivity by putting learning on display;
2.) creating flexibility and agility through furnishings and technology;
3.) maximizing resources by using all available surfaces and blurring the boundaries between adjoining rooms.
The remodeled 1,200 sf space is partitioned into distinct research, experimentation, and presentation zones, each equipped with its own colorful mobile furnishings, usable wall surfaces and/or accent light fixtures to provide a unique learning experience for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade.
The “Explore Wall”, featuring built-in millwork in the form of oversized letters, provides an interactive, functional backdrop for the studio. The featured ‘O’ in “Explore” is carved into a comfy upholstered niche for a student to quietly read a book or spend a few moments of solitude. The Explore Wall was designed for dual use as resource material can be stored on the side facing the Library Media Center. Under the Explore Wall an accent carpet tile flooring is used to visually join these two spaces together, add a touch of acoustic nuance, and create a softer transition between spaces. Other S.T.E.A.M Lab features include:
- A Lego wall and bi-lingual word tree/’wordle’ graphic
- An expanded main entrance of the room
- Overhead cord reels strategically placed throughout the space for easy access to power
- Integrated material storage and project display at key locations
- Extensive use of glass at the main entrance and within the feature wall which separates the S.T.E.A.M lab from the Library Media Center