Innovation in Learning Study Group

East Coast: Dearborn STEM Academy

By: Eileen Vaughn

The remaking of the Dearborn STEM Academy has been in the works for close to 10 years. Since the original building was not in a condition for upgrading, an amazing plan and new construction began on this structure in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The school is expected to open around Labor Day, 2018.

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Walking into the building makes you feel more like you are entering a museum, not a 6th through 12th grade school. As we wandered around the facility, and up the stairways, we discovered classrooms that are intended for both student and teacher collaboration, rooms that will accommodate either small or large groups, and many interesting glass windows and walls.

What immediate steps can we take to bring our students nearer to this era of innovation? We can’t build a new facility overnight, but we can look at ways to create some new and exciting environments. Environments that would bring about a fresh and collaborative dialog between students, students and teachers, and teachers with other teachers. Even a small step can be an opening for further innovation. We should look at our classrooms, hallways, closets, all spaces. Even a rocking chair could rock someone’s world!