projects | education

Maricopa Institute of Technology

Advancing a STEM Education Through Design

The Maricopa Institute of Technology teaches a unique and advanced STEM curriculum to junior high students. Architects set out to reinforce and enhance their curriculum through the built environment.

Housing 600 students, a central atrium is used for any activity by doubling as a cafeteria or assembly space for students. This space opens up to an exterior amphitheater, through large overhead doors for outdoor events.  Stemming from the atrium, architects designed hallways to serve as learning environments, with breakout spaces for collaborative and individual study. Students working within the hallways, can have a unique environment to study in, while having the resources available there to help them. Classrooms were designed to accommodate Riverside’s unique curriculum, with rooms tailored to offer classes for engineering, advanced science, and technology. Research labs spaces are on either side of the school extending to covered outdoor yards, through large doors, so students can work on larger projects. Furniture and equipment are incorporated in rooms to accommodate for a wide range of research and experiments involving chemistry, biology, physics, drones manufacturing, robotics and 3D printing. With every classroom, teachers have their own work rooms, with full visibility to the hallway and classrooms, and can be used to prepare lesson plans, collaborate with each other, or have a place to meet with parents and students.

The building envelop is designed for maximum energy savings. Glazed wall areas shaded with large roof overhangs to protect it from the summer direct heat while letting sun come in during the winter.  The exterior walls are constructed with Insulated Concrete Forms adding more R-value to the envelop.  Skylights with sun tracking devices are also incorporated along hallways and research labs allowing plenty of natural light into the spaces reducing the use of artificial lighting.  The building is also equipped with an Energy Management System which offers the Owner computer-aided tools to control, monitor, and optimize the building performance.