The Brillion School District, located in Calumet County, Wisconsin, was in need of a space to support their growing S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum at the elementary school level. An underutilized and empty existing multi-purpose room served as the clean canvas on which to make this idea come alive. This is the second S.T.E.M. center in the Brillion School District. In 2007, the high school introduced its Fab Lab, largely the product of an innovative partnership with the Ariens Co.
McMAHON teamed with the school district, Cineviz, Duet Resource Group, and KI to design an elementary S.T.E.M. center that would fulfill not only the NEEDS, but also the DREAMS of the district staff. The needs included: supporting curriculum, function for K-5 students, interactive space, flexibility, simple to manage, technology available, teacher prep space, and teacher collaboration space. The dreams included: creating a destination location, a planetarium, a tower, summer camp opportunities, changing displays, outdoor connection, and corporate sponsors.
The space includes two classroom areas, one central demonstration area, a mezzanine, a catwalk, moving partitions that serve also as display surfaces and white boards, a giant mobile sink for experiments, interactive displays, a teacher prep/storage room, a teacher collaboration room, custom workstations for kids, and technology that is both effective for teachers and simple enough for students to use. Flexibility, interaction, innovation and learning are just a few words that can be used to describe the space. The S.T.E.M. center was recently completed and is now being used by the elementary students.