Real World, Hands-on and Integrated: Exploring facilities for STEAM and Career Technical Education


Laura Knauss

Bill Heinicke
Elk Grove Unified School District

Kathleen Moore
School Facilities & Education Consultant

Carole Wenell


1.5 Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:

Call it STEM, STEAM or STREAM, but it’s no longer just the ‘next best thing’ in education. The response to this educational model has inspired school transformation; proper planning of facilities to effectively deliver the curriculum is paramount. Join us as we look through the lens of the educators, architects and facilities pros to see how an integrated approach to learning influences facilities planning to meet the demands of a rigorous STEM, STEAM or STREAM curriculum. We’ll review real world examples of districts who are moving forward with these programs and rethinking their facilities to better support hands-on, integrated learning activities. In one example, educators came together at their existing campus to envision and create a STEAM curriculum that would be supported by their new and renovated facilities. What worked? What didn’t? And why?   Career Technical Education has long been the trailblazer of STEAM education – well before the acronym appeared – with a focus on problem and project based learning, integrated curriculum and college/career readiness. The lessons learned from modern day career technical education facilities can influence the way we look at STEAM education, but also how we look at education in general.   Our panelists will discuss Career Technical Education Ð from Agricultural sciences to the Culinary Arts – and supporting STEAM education with Maker Spaces and Science Spaces, Arts Spaces and Outdoor Learning with an approach to building flexibility into existing learning environments with technology, furnishings and fun! Participants will engage in a hands-on learning activity, rolling up their sleeves to explore the facilities impacts of working in CTE and STEAM.

Learning Objectives:
  • Explore the ‘hands-on’ pedagogy of STEAM curriculum in order to understand facilities requirements.
  • Review case studies and lessons learned from development of STEAM and CTE facilities.
  • Understand CTE pathways and California’s facilities response and impact.
  • Collaborate on possible responses to a real world facilities problem.
Primary Competency:

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Primary Domain:

Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

Secondary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.