A collection of learning trends has collectively impacted the design of modern science classrooms. An increased focus on STEM curriculum, 21st century learning, and Next Generation Science Standards have stimulated a shift away from a traditional lecture and lab approach to teaching and learning science. Today’s students use inquiry-based learning techniques to solve problems, and those techniques demand flexible spaces that support more than just a lecture room and adjoining lab.
Saline Area Schools set out to renovate science classrooms in the existing middle school. Their goals for the project included right sizing the classrooms to align with current standards, modernizing the classrooms to accommodate learning best practices, and activating the adjacent exterior courtyard space. The renovated classrooms feature breakout spaces where students can collaborate in small groups with fluid access to technology, whiteboard space, and areas to showcase their work. Two larger science labs also feature an operable partition to enable co-teaching and sharing of resources. The renovation included new casework, storage cabinetry, and added overhead doors that open to connect the science labs to the outdoor courtyard for nature-based scientific discovery.