On Thursday, September 27, Walker's celebrated the ribbon cutting of its new Steelcase Active Learning Center in Galbraith, a classroom environment for our new engineering curriculum that encourages engagement, collaboration and creativity using Steelcase furniture. While the classroom was designed for engineering, any subject area can be taught in the flexible classroom space.
In attendance were students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and Director of Market Development for Steelcase Education Craig Wilson. In his comments, Wilson read from the school's proposal that was written by Grants and Foundations Officer Kim Pereira highlighting areas of the document which spoke about small group work, problem solving, and using setbacks to find solutions. "It reminds me of the work of the engineers at Steelcase," said Wilson. He also referenced the research that will take place in the classroom which will assess the impact of organized workspaces on productivity. "There is a true commitment on the part of the educators at Walker's to conduct the research to assess the impact the new space will have on the productivity in the classroom."
Math department faculty member Leslie Goff, who co-taught Walker's first engineering class with Science department faculty member Dr. Emma Mitchell in the spring, added her comments about the excitement of the gift. "At first, I thought that this was a gift of furniture. Now, I understand that this furniture will allow Walker's teachers to be in a wider community of educators." As a grant recipient, Walker's faculty and staff will participate in Steelcase's Active Learning Symposium where educators from other grant recipient communities come together and share their research, techniques and suggestions on using the new furniture in the classroom. Goff, who is teaching computer science in the classroom this semester, continues, "Being among educators that are committed to learning more about pedagogy and the impact that surroundings have on the quality of the work taking place in the classroom is very exciting. We look forward to sharing our findings and learning from our new colleagues from throughout the country."
Walker's is among 16 educational institutions from across the nation chosen from 1,037 applicants to receive the 2018 Active Learning Center Grant from Steelcase Education. Walker's was one of only eight schools nationally in grades six through 12 to earn the award.
Head of School Meera Viswanathan is joined by Student Body President Tricia Saint Fort '19 and Steelcase Education's Director of Market Development Craig Wilson for a ribbon cutting on the new Steelcase Active Learning Center Classroom. Pictured from left are Kitty Huang '19, Grants and Foundations Officer Kim Pereira, Math Faculty Daniele Ness, Science Faculty Emma Mitchell, Head of School Meera Viswanathan, Student Body President Tricia Saint Forte '19, Steelcase Education's Director of Market Development Craig Wilson, Math Faculty Leslie Goff, Board of Trustees Chair Kit O'Brien Rohn '82 and Brianna Duba '19.