STEM learning is an important part of preparing students for the future, with a grounding in one or more disciplines across science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
A well-designed STEM classroom can support the delivery of this learning, giving you a comfortable environment with the facilities you need, which is also conducive to concentration and attention.
But the diversity of disciplines that fall within the scope of STEM – from practical science and technology lessons to more theoretical mathematics and engineering studies – means that no two STEM classrooms are exactly alike.
So how can the principles of best practice in classroom design help a STEM learning centre to deliver the best standard of education?
What is STEM Learning?
First of all, what do we mean by STEM learning?
Like the subjects themselves, STEM education is a broad term, encompassing everything from theory to practice, and lessons where equipment may be a tool to carry out an assignment, or may be the assignment itself.
A STEM centre must therefore be versatile, with rooms that can be configured for practical lessons but which can also be used for more traditional classroom or lecture theatre delivery.
In some larger STEM learning centres, it’s possible to segregate these different teaching styles, with dedicated laboratories and workshops alongside rooms that are permanently configured for more theoretical classroom teaching.
Why is STEM Important?
STEM education is growing in importance with each passing year. Technology underpins everything we do, from communications, to digital business, to managing physical supply chains.
As we aim to cater for the skilled labour demand this creates in the future, STEM centres also need to appeal to students from a diverse background, to ensure science, technology and engineering roles attract their fair share of the different genders, ethnic minorities and so on.
How Innovative Design can enhance your STEM spaces
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a STEM classroom. The best classroom furniture for STEM spaces depends on the space available, the flexibility required, the number of students, the curriculum and more.
STEM spaces can be used as classrooms, lecture theatres, workshops and laboratories, and with smart choices of classroom furniture, it’s possible to furnish one space that can accommodate all the different roles it needs to play.
Effective interior design combined with high-quality innovative furniture systems can transform STEM spaces into truly exciting environments which encourage students to explore, discover and learn.
It’s sensible to opt for versatile STEM classroom furniture, so the room can be used for a different STEM subject in the future, and to prioritise comfort as well as practicality, to keep students engaged for longer during lessons.
Contemporary design that facilitates and promotes pupil-centred learning can help change attitudes towards science, while also incorporating particular STEM needs, such as fume cupboards for science, safety considerations for practical activities, and machines and tools for technology.
Storage solutions for the various equipment and tools required for lessons can also act as teaching walls with incorporated sliding whiteboards and TV, saving space while becoming a feature wall in the classroom.
How Can S+B Help?
We recognise that everyone’s idea of STEAM or Makerspace is unique; different schools have different requirements, teachers, curriculums, and pedagogical visions. As evident from our range of STEM case studies, we can make these visions a reality.
The furniture you see in a catalogue might not quite be the answer to what you’re looking for, which is where S+B can help. From storage solutions with dry wipe doors to height adjustable woodworking benches, we can manufacture bespoke products to suit your exact requirements.
We collaborate with your teachers to design something unique and tailored to your school, rather than a conventional piece of off-the-shelf furniture.
S+B STEM furniture systems and fume cupboards.
As part of our design process, we use 3D software to provide you with renderings of your vision of the future STEM learning space prior to manufacturing. Our manufacturing facility then has the capability to create the bespoke furniture systems and storage solutions that you require.
We offer a variety of work surface materials, with the most widely used being Corian, Trespa and Velstone. All are attractive in a range of colours, easy to clean and have levels of heat, impact and chemical resistance appropriate to the daily rigours of the STEM environments.
We bring our own expertise and experience to the process too to create cutting-edge, flexible learning environments that will position your school or college – and your students – for STEM success for many years to come.