The science classroom, an integral, multi-use venue, is in need of a full interior renovation. The winning proposal will provide plans for effective space use and storage, including:
* Long-term storage for science supplies such as microscopes and chemicals
* Ease-of-access storage for materials such as soil and sand.
* Short-term storage (bins/drawers/cubbies/etc.) for weekly, in-progress projects
* Kid-level presentation cases or shelving to showcase artifacts
* Space/counter-consideration to integrate appliances such as large freezer, standard refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, kid-level sink (currently 27.5" height), and drying racks.
* Space/counter-consideration to integrate electronics such as computer, document camera, electronic-whiteboard, weather-station display board, and sterilizing cabinet (24.5"x28")
* Space/counter-consideration to integrate one 4-drawer file cabinet and bookshelves where possible
* Furnishing proposals should include moveable tables for up to 30 students (currently there are 10 non-moveable tables ea. 23.5"x53.5") accompanied by stools (currently 19.5" height).
* Window-treatment proposal should accommodate light-blocking shades for experiments that need darkness.
* Floor-plan should allow for one carpet (approximately 8'x11.5') to accommodate students.
* Aquarium is built-in fixture. No plans to move.
* There are pull-down electrical cords located in the ceiling, currently located over tables.
* There is currently a GrowLab gardening center in the room, which is functional but not very movable.
* Shelving, bookshelves, and counter-top space should be maximized. Equipment and models will always proliferate.
* Facility is a public elementary school (K - 5). This is a showcase room.
Hello client... I have uploaded an unfinished project but I will send to you the other files tomorrow if this will be possible.
Do you plan to replace the tables you currently have? Please let me know your budget for new furniture and cabinets.
We are flexible with whether or not we will replace the tables we currently have. They are still in good condition, so we are happy to keep them, but if there is a better option out there, we would welcome that. There is no fixed budget right now--we are looking to fundraise the entire effort.
We are currently in the middle of the decision-making process for the winner of this competition, with a final decision being made on Saturday, August 24th. If you are looking to be considered in the competition, we would ask that you submit something by midnight tonight. The deadline technically has already passed, but we would welcome your entry since you have been so diligent in asking thoughtful questions about the current state of the classroom.
Please give a count of sinks and rough sizes that you need total. Is there any restrictions on the window wall in terms of changes?
We would like to have 2 sinks. It would be nice if they were next to each other, but it's not necessary. We currently have 2 sinks that are 25" x 21.25", with a depth of about 7.5". Deeper sinks would be more conducive to washing all the science materials/supplies.
There are no restrictions on the window wall in terms of changes.
Thanks for your interest in our project!
Thank you for the response. This is wonderful information. I am excited there is flexibility with the window wall. How flexible is the seating for the new work areas for students and your need for line of sight observation of the students?
There are more questions in the response below this question, these are important to have information about your current needs for the science classroom.
How often do you draw the blinds for the window wall? Is there a need to have darkened room?
The work area seating is flexible, however, the work areas do need to allow for partner and group work, as a lot of the projects/experiments I assign the students requires them to work with others. The current work area desks have spaces to store writing and coloring utensils (as seen in attached picture), in addition to glue and scissors, and that has made classroom management much easier.
I draw the blinds quite frequently for the window wall. The units that I need a darkened room include: Light in 5th grade, Shadows in Kindergarten and Pre-K, Moon Phases in 3rd and 4th grades, and Space/Solar System in 4th grade. In addition, in the Spring, light streams in from the windows, making it hard for the students to see what's being projected on the white board.
I appreciate the information. The information about the desk is good to know and the issue regarding light streaming in from the windows. With the supplies storage locally at the students desk, is there a need for students to come back to the same desk each day? Do students reuse the supplies at the desk that were previously used by another student?
How often do student teams come together as a group to discuss their findings and observations in the class?
In the same line of question, how often are the desk rearranged pending particular subject area for discussion in the class?
The photo you added is very much appreciated.
The supplies stored locally at the student desks (pencils, erasers, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, crayons) are the same at each desk, so there is no need for students to come back to the same desk each day. Yes, I see students from all the different grade levels (K-5) almost every day, so they reuse the supplies at the desk that were previously used by another student.
We usually discuss their findings and observations at the end of every class, but there are times when I will ask them to discuss their predictions and/or findings/observations during the experiment with their partners and/or group mates.
Because the current desks are quite heavy, I didn't rearrange them much throughout the year. There were a couple times when I moved them out of the way for various activities, but that was it.
Can you give an idea of some of the sizes of the equipment that you need to store (bins, drawers, and cubbies, microscopes and chemicals) Is it possible to reorient the grow lab or place it in a new vessel?
What are the cubbies used for? Bins? Drawers?
What is the size of the presentation cases that the kids use to showcase artifacts? What kinds of materials are these usually made out of and how do the children use them?
What happens on the piece of carpet you mentioned to accommodate students?
Can the aquarium be rehoused in a new tank? What do you do with the aquarium? What is usually kept in the aquarium?
What happens in the growlab, how is this used during class and during off hours?
Is there any off-hours use of the space? For Parents? Special evening gatherings with kids or parents?
You mentioned the space is multi-use venue - what other things happen in this space?
Is it possible to give the location for the project for solar response?
This is an exciting project.
Here are some of the sizes of the equipment we are currently storing:
1) Scientific Tools Bins (19" x 9" x 4.5”): If you look at the first attached file (Scientific Tools Bins), I currently have 40 beige bins stored on 2 movable carts (20 bins each) where I keep student scientific tools, such as graduated cylinders, eye droppers, thermometers, funnels, and much more. Across the year, students become more and more familiar with where they can access as well as put back these tools, so that they don't need to ask a teacher anymore.
2) Additional Scientific Tools Bins (13.5” x 9” x 5”): The second attached file (Shelving with Bins) shows the 21 bins that are stored on shelves right now. They house additional scientific tools, some of which are not used as often.
3) Engineering Tools Bins (15.75" x 11.75" x 4.75”): The third attached file (Engineering Cart) is a picture of the bins that are used to store tools for children's engineering projects. I have 20 bins on 2 movable carts (10 bins each). Because these tools require safety and proper handling, you'll notice that the bins are not accessible until you push the side wings of the cart out.
4) Drawers and Other Tools/Supplies:
-Drawers (14.5" x 13" x 5.5" or 14.5" x 15" x 5.5") are used to house more supplies, such as staplers, tape, batteries, etc.
-12 Balances (12" x 5" x 4.5"): It would be great if I had space to store a couple more of these.
-17 Microscopes (8.5" x 6.5" x 14.5")
-7 Lego Robots (various sizes, about 8” x 6” x 5”): I apologize that this was not mentioned earlier, but we currently have 7 Lego robots that are used for our after-school First Lego League team as well as for in-school instruction in programming.
5) The Grow Lab
The Grow Lab can be reoriented or placed in a new vessel. To give you an idea of what it looks like, go to this website (http://www.gardeningwithkids.org/growlab-reg-hi-power-tower.html). Ours is a bit different—it has 4 tiers, but it does not have wheels. It measures 25.25” x 23” x 69.75”. The Grow Lab is used specifically for experiments dealing with plants. For example, last year, the 1st graders conducted various experiments to see how something would affect the growth of their plant, such as lack of water or lack of air.
6) 2 Presentation Cases (42” x 12.25” x 16”)
The fourth attached file (Presentation Cases) shows our current presentation cases. They’re made out of wood and glass. It’s not evident from the picture, but they are currently about 5 feet off the ground, so many of the children aren’t able to see fully inside the presentation case, therefore they are not being used to their full potential right now.
7) Carpet (11’6” x 7’11”)
The carpet is where the students gather for my mini-lesson and/or class discussions after the lesson is over.
8) Aquarium (Tank itself: 72.25” x 23.75” x 30”, Equipment below: 72” x 25” x 42.5”)
The aquarium can not be housed in a new tank. There is a portion of the wall that was cut-out to accommodate the aquarium so that people who walked through the front entrance of the school could see through the aquarium into the classroom. The 3rd graders at our school have a chance to be a part of “Aquarium Club”, where they learn to take on the responsibility of taking care of the fish in tank. They come in early every morning (when it is their week for duty) to feed the fish, check the tank equipment, observe the fish for any new diseases or unusual swimming behavior, and check the water quality. At some point in the year we also go on a field trip related to fish/aquariums. I also sometimes have the kids use the aquarium for observation.
With the exception of the aquarium, we are flexible with how you envision supplies/tools being stored in the room. We are happy to keep some things if you think that we currently have a good system, but we are also happy to hear what you have to say.
Off-Hours Use of the Space
The room is used for various meetings throughout the year, including the beginning of the year, county-wide Science Lead Teacher meeting. Our school’s First Lego League (FLL) team meets in the room after school twice a week when they’re getting ready for the competition, and then once every other week after the competition is over. We also have a Science, Tech, & Engineering Night during the year, where parents come with their children to see different science projects and try their hand at engineering challenges. Last year the room was used to showcase the Lego robot that our FLL team had built for the competition.
Our windows face west, and we are located in Virginia. Let me know if you need a more (and how) specific location.
I hope this helps! We appreciate your interest and enthusiasm!
I appreciate the information. The equipment list is helpful. The information about the aquarium integration as part of the learning process outside the classroom is a nice touch of design and an interesting way to inform the public of the work of the Aquarium Club. The Off-Hours program seems very successful in promoting a strong community connection with the school.
The location information is sufficient for now since we only have the classroom for context at the moment.
The additional photos are very helpful. You have an interesting organizational system for storage that I appreciate.
The presentation cases are fantastic!
Would you like a storage system that allows you to see the actual scientific tools, containers, legos, and organic materials?
Thanks for the feedback!
A storage system that allows you to see the actual tools/materials would be great! Right now I try to have as many labels with pictures on them so that our younger students and our second language learners can access the materials as well. For them to be able to see the materials behind the label, I believe that would allow them to access the materials even easier and make the connection quicker.
Thank you for the information about the storage system. I need one last detail of information. Is it possible to send a picture of the outside of the window wall - I want to know if there is a roof overhang above the window and then the dimension of the overhang. These are typically 18" but can be more less depending on the building type. I also assume your floor of the classroom is slab on grade with resilient flooring on top of light topping slab. I located your building. It appears your classroom is right at the entrance to the right. The window wall is facing a group of trees. Does this sound like a correct description?
I apologize for the delay in response--I was out of the country and had very limited wi-fi access. Attached is a picture of the outside of the window wall. You are correct about the floor--there is a cement slab underneath. Yes, the window wall faces a group of trees, and the classroom is right at the entrance. I'm not sure what perspective you were looking from, but if you are facing east (facing the school's entrance), my classroom is to the left (it is in the northwest corner of the building).