As CSMS teachers engage in both simulations and laboratory work with their students, the physical design of the new labs encourages both scenarios. Dry erase boards and lab table tops allow students to sketch out and revise their thinking in real time. Furniture is mobile and can be moved around the room in multiple ways to transform the space to best suit the day’s lesson. New LCD projectors as well as sound systems heighten the real world learning experiences. Science teacher Nate Sather who teaches in one of the new classrooms notes, “Students can collaborate in groups of 2-5 as well as diagram on the tables themselves. The students have enjoyed the new setting this year and I find it to be much more efficient for group and lab work.”
Educationcloset.com defines STEAM as “an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process.” The new science labs at CSMS are built to accomplish these exact STEAM focused tasks. Not only will students advance their own skills of individual inquiry, but also enhance their collaborative skills leading to the continued building of a community of learners.