Orcutt Winslow
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21C STEAM Academy

Eastmark High School

Queen Creek, AZ

Modern education is highly complex. Long gone are the days when schools were primarily centers of content dissemination and the primary focus of education was to prepare children with the content knowledge to be successful in college or in careers. Many would argue we are in the fourth industrial revolution with many of the careers today having not existed or in its infancy only a decade ago.

Collaborative spaces create a sense of community on campus. The latest trends in design that contribute to student engagement include spaces that create the right mix of public and private areas and are strategically located to define smaller communities within a building.

Much like Next Gen learning itself, Eastmark High School serves as a metaphor for facilitation. The design seeks to bridge traditional and progressive curriculum by providing academy-based education and flexible learning spaces that can transition with the school as it changes and adapts over time. This concept not only allows for backwards compatibility, it challenges current and future think in student engagement with the curriculum of both today and tomorrow.

This 21C STEAM Academy is an award-winning high school master planned to accommodate up to 2,800 students and a successive Junior High School designed on the site for vertical alignment between schools. In a competitive community, Eastmark High School fully embraces Next Gen learning philosophies and includes spaces for kids to exercise Next Gen skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking as well as communication. The learning pods are designed to be modular, anchored by a maker space, and flanked by prep spaces and labs. The makerspaces are surrounded by teaching stations that include traditional instructional, collaborative classrooms, studios or dry labs, and teacher/counselor rooms. The school offers certification programs out of four initial Academies: Health Services | Nursing, Business, STEAM and Fine | Performing Arts, and plans to add as many as 15 certifications by full buildout.