As the ever-growing STEM trend is sweeping the nation, classroom design becomes a critical element to these specialized learning spaces in supporting curriculum objectives. But what exactly is a STEM school, and how is the curriculum and learning space that supports it, different?
“STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications,” (Source).
The importance of STEM education:
“All of this effort is to meet a need. According to a report by the website STEMconnector.org, by 2018, projections estimate the need for 8.65 million workers in STEM-related jobs. The manufacturing sector faces an alarmingly large shortage of employees with the necessary skills — nearly 600,000. The field of cloud computing alone will have created 1.7 million jobs between 2011 and 2015, according to the report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2018, the bulk of STEM careers will be:
- Computing – 71 percent
- Traditional Engineering – 16 percent
- Physical sciences – 7 percent
- Life sciences – 4 percent
- Mathematics – 2 percent” (Source).
Supporting this growing field of education, KI Furniture specializes in creating STEM-advantageous classrooms, and has even been selected by American School & University within Outstanding Designs. The objective of STEM classrooms often call for a blended learning environment, and flexible furniture that can support curriculum objectives enhances the overall learning environment, school culture, and absorption of information. Below are 3 examples of STEM learning spaces supported with KI Furniture:
1. A multiple curriculum space. includes Inquire tables on casters paired with Intellect Wave 4-leg chairs. Flexible seating and tables provide opportunities for large group instruction or collaboration of smaller teams of students:
2. Classrooms and science/technology laboratories combined. In order to foster experiential teaching and learning in environments that are both flexible and dynamic for students and teachers alike, multiple colorful spaces include Intellect Wave® 4-leg chairs, Strive® 4-leg chairs with casters and Intellect Wave® contour, tripod desks:
3. Project-based learning. Smaller, closed-off rooms were opened to create a uniquely larger space that is perfect for project-based learning. Students can easily move furniture for group or independent work. Students now have options on how and where to work, so they can choose their most efficient and comfortable work space. This learning space features Intellect Wave® task chairs and task stools as well as Strive® 4-leg chairs with casters:
KI strives to advance the transformation from traditional classrooms to flexible, engaging learning spaces while enhancing the entire learning experience. We leverage years of experience, expertise and knowledge of educational trends to help you choose your ideal classroom solution. Want to create a learning space that supports your STEM objectives? Contact us today!