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top 10 solutions for a successful STEM space

STEM is exciting and engaging, with lots of activity happening all around the classroom at any one time, anywhere! Students might be sitting at tables, standing at tables, sitting on the floor, coding on a whiteboard or creating a messy experiment outside. To facilitate and enable creativity and collaboration, there are a few considerations when designing a successful STEM space.

“stem can happen in classrooms or specialised learning spaces, so flexibility and versatility of space are key requirements. furniture which allows for more adaptable, communal learning is also important to us.”

Phil Roberts – Principal Mt. Sinai College NSW

1. Design a place for everything with everything in its place.

STEM subjects can involve constructing, deconstructing, building and designing using robotics, construction bricks or any number of resources. Mobile storage that houses all the bits and pieces students need to create and experiment is incredibly useful. Tote trays can be labelled to help keep your classroom organised. Consider lockable storage for older students working on longer term projects. Work can then be stored away and picked up from where they left off without fear of it being dismantled or disturbed.

2. Take STEM learning into the great outdoors.


Whether it’s conducting a messy experiment, flying a drone, growing a garden, counting bugs or daytime moon viewing, there are a million reasons for taking a STEM class outside. Picnic Pads are designed for the great outdoors, keeping students comfortable and engaged. They can be stacked away in a corner of the classroom when not required.

3. Create the space to learn.


Students will need room to move. From mapping at a standing height table to coding on a device before moving to the floor with an Ozobot, all this movement requires a flexible environment. Using stools instead of chairs in these creative spaces means there is no back to impede upper body movement and students can easily shift from sitting to standing at the same location. The Bodyfurn® Lab Stool can be tucked under a high table or stacked on top for easy storage, creating more floor space for activities like robotics when needed.

4. Make thinking visible.


Whiteboard tables will enhance your learning spaces. Students can ideate, create, calculate, collaborate then record and share or document the learning using this low-tech tool. All Furnware tables come with a whiteboard option to support collaborative learning, group discussions and small teacher-led group activities. Deputy Principal Chris Raymaakers from Singapore American Middle School is a fan, “Whiteboard tables might actually change how you think about doing math problems.” Learn more about why Chris considers whiteboards the star of their classrooms.

5. See things from a different perspective.


Support student choice in how and where they work with tables of various heights. Standing height tables encourage positive movement and when paired with stools, students can choose whether they sit or stand. Some STEM activities are best carried out down low at Kneeler Tables and seated on Cookie Pads. Furnware tables come in a variety of heights and widths - perfect for makerspaces where students can really spread out.

6. Choose multi-purpose furniture.


When it comes to furniture in learning environments, sometimes less is more, so understand how your students work best and choose wisely. Maximise functionality with our space saving Seating Tote Trolley - store, sit, divide...all with one piece of furniture.

7. Construct a collaborative learning zone.


Consider furniture that is modular and can be easily reconfigured to create spaces within spaces depending on task and learning group size. The Endeavour Table is a flexible, multi-level system that works with many complementary products to create an ideal learning zone.


8. Turn the tables in the classroom.


A dynamic STEM space requires furniture that can be used for a variety of purposes, activities and group sizes. Consider Flip Tables or the Nesting Table system with castors, they can be used, moved and easily stored to create space.

9. Bring ideas to life with construction blocks and kitsets.


Construction sets provide students with opportunities to create and critique their ideas, as they actively participate in the learning experience. Sort resources in large tote trolleys that can be moved to the table where the building is taking place. Or consider a table with built-in storage provided so materials are right on hand where the big ideas come to life.

10. Teach and learn on the move.


With its large classroom footprint and static nature, the traditional teacher’s desk is becoming a relic. Teachers want to be where the action is, and in a STEM space that can be anywhere! Clever mobile desk designs should incorporate digital technologies, optional height work surfaces and designated storage allowing teachers to get amongst the learning. One of our most popular products is the Teachers Hub. It has two work surfaces for standing and sitting and with plenty of space for classroom resources and lockable storage for personal belongings, it’s designed for wherever and however you teach.

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