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O'More students design Stem Room for Pearre Creek Elementary

Local Students Develop WCS’s First Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Room

A group of O’More College of Design students had the opportunity to put their studies into practice last semester when they helped Pearre Creek Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) design the school’s first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) room.

The room, which is expected to be complete this spring, encourages young people to develop real-life solutions for problems through hands-on learning methods. It also enhances teachers’ roles as educators rather than information providers.

“A Pearre Creek teacher approached the College about helping develop a STEM room to support a different learning method,” said Interior Design Department Co-Chair Kelly Gore, who helped spearhead the project.  “We’re excited about the result, and believe the room will benefit a lot of the non-traditional learners when worksheets won’t cut it. The space should help solidify some of those learning ideas that are more abstract.

“To my knowledge, this could be Williamson County School’s first STEM room.”

Gore asked her Human Factors course, which explores how the environment can affect humans both physically and mentally, to take on the project outside of class time. She says nearly half of the students volunteered, and presented the concept to the PTO board at the fall semester’s end.

A visual board that currently sits in the elementary school’s main office displays the O’More students’ end work: a room divided into varying sections, with a life-size abacus, an enlarged solar system, a grocery market with an accompanying cash register and other interactive displays.

“Our group looked at how children used to learn: they picked up a lot of skills through their surrounding community. In a rural one like Tennessee, this often meant counting eggs, going on market trips and other hands-on experiences,” Gore said. “We’ve tried to incorporate that type of learning back into the classroom. Basically, this a field trip just down the hallway.”

Gore says the O’More students walked through the entire design process for Pearre Creek, and determined everything from spatial rearrangement and item pricing to furniture and tech specifications.

When funds for the room are raised, Pearre Creek PTO President Alli Finney says the space will be completely built out—hopefully with the help of O’More students.

“The Pearre Creek PTO is thrilled to be working with Mrs. Gore and the students of O'More,” Finney said. “STEM is truly the future of education, and our students are going to benefit from this collaboration for years to come.”

To learn more about O’More and its interior design department, visit www.omorecollege.edu.

Founded in 1970, O’More College of Design is a four-year, non-profit institution offering bachelor of fine arts degrees in fashion design, fashion merchandising, graphic design, interactive design and interior design. The college is located in the downtown historic district of Franklin, Tenn.

Posted on: 2/2/2014

 
 

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