Aurora University, John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School
Since August 2014, 150 elementary and middle school students have been attending the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University. This innovative facility, which serves students from four regional public school districts, is designed to address regional and national deficiencies in science, technology, engineering and math education. The school and its new COST PER SQ FT$340.00CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2015 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYLaboratories model result from collaboration among university officials, school district leaders, teachers, nonprofits, local businesses and legislators. The physical design of the building, including its flexible furnishings and state-of-the-art laboratory technology, is meant to simulate and inspire students to find passion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. This environment complements the building’s curriculum and includes eight grade-school workshops, an open forum where classes can work together and six laboratories that are shared by University and STEM school students.
Each of the workshops and laboratories is designed with flexible furniture and technology that eliminate the traditional front and back of a classroom. Power sources extend from the ceilings, and all corners of the room can be used for instruction. Exposed piping and duct work for plumbing and HVAC, and glass-fronted mechanical rooms, technology rooms and plumbing chases help students see and understand the “backbone features” of the building.