Integrated and transparent

Innovative STEM programs may provide teachers with shared prep rooms adjacent to their classrooms, affording them both time and space for preparation, while also giving a sense of accessibility to students. The facilities may also feature transparent walls or large windows between classrooms, prep rooms and corridors. This visual connection between spaces reinforces a shared culture of learning, and reduces the need for supervision over time. In schools like High Tech High in San Diego, teachers give direct instruction in project rooms while sustaining visual connection with students who work independently at computer stations.

That transparency is not only available between individuals, but also between the user and building. In Columbus, Metro High School’s lab facilities leave plumbing and diffusion filters exposed to help students visualize the mechanics of how things work.