Discovering Partnerships

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU / HSW

Pending Acceptance and Subject to Change

This presentation will showcase the complex trajectory leading toward the successful opening of the Tulsa Public School’s Stem Center within the Discovery Lab Museum in Tulsa, OK. Creative partnerships are often critical to create successful and long-term solutions for our community’s most needed commodity, public school children. We will showcase how the design team spearheaded the unique collaboration between the Museum and the district bringing together two clients to accomplish their independent vision and missions in a symbiotic facility, amid other challenges of designing within a highly intricate public-private park and during a pandemic. While engaged in designing the Discovery Lab, a highly anticipated new children’s museum at the Gathering Place, our firm was also assisting Tulsa Public Schools with separate design concepts with partnerships for their STEM Center. This session will explore the goals and objectives of each, how they found each other, and their plans for how to make the long-term partnership successful both in terms of finances, as well as with their unique programming.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about integrating and managing a project within a complex partnership of public, private and consulting partners to create an integrated project team.
  2. Understand the challenges of providing a collaborative structure for STEM Programming through a non-profit organizational structure.
  3. Learn ways to provide community engagement to a diverse stakeholder group with a combination of public and private funds.
  4. Explore how to think about providing equitable in STEM Programming across a school district.

Sarah Gould, AIA, A4LE, Owner, KKT Architects,
Sarah is the President and CEO of KKT Architects. Education and community are her passions, and she works closely with most school districts in the region. Sarah is Past-President of Oklahoma A4LE and serves on the board of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools. She earned her Master of Architecture from the University of Texas, Austin and her Master of Architectural Urban Studies from the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa.

Ray Vandiver, Executive Director, Discovery Lab,
Dr. Vandiver is the executive director of the Discovery Lab. Ray has been a leader in informal education and interactive exhibit design for over 25 years. Millions of people, all over the world, have enjoyed the exhibits developed by Ray over his career. Ray holds his doctorate in experimental atomic and molecular physics. His areas of academic interests are optics, lasers, gas discharges, and quantum mechanics. Ray is also an artist and musician.

Kate Cofer,

Track: The Learners’ Experience

What is the learners’ experience? Who are they? How do they differ? How do they respond differently from one another to similar environments? Is there a one-size-fits-all solution? Or is a custom solution composed of aggregate parts more appropriate?

Primary Core Competency
Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning: Manages a master planning process that combines educational planning, facilities assessment and utilization, demographic research, capital planning and educational specifications with a community-based vision to establish a plan for learning environments. This includes the ability to translate existing or aspirational instructional models to specific programming and spatial relationships.

Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)
This presentation will include discussion on how to think strategically about partnerships and unique methods to provide STEM access and programming equitably throughout a public school district for all children. 


Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX

October 5-9, 2022


+1 480.391.0840