SEATTLE – June 27, 2017 – A Steelcase Active Learning Grant was awarded to North Seattle College and will result in a new classroom for Chemistry and Biology students this fall. Steelcase Education awards these grants to schools, colleges and universities looking to use their physical classroom space to advance learning in new and important ways. Over 900 educational institutions across the US applied for one of the 15 awards announced. OpenSquare, the Steelcase dealer for Washington State, will work with North Seattle College on the design and implementation of the new space.

North Seattle College Math and Science Tenured Faculty members Ms. Ann Murkowski and Dr. Kalyn Shea Owens submitted their grant request to update one classroom to an informal, versatile space that will encourage exploration problem solving. The intent is to create a more student-centered room to engage students in complex collaborative activities. “We’d been dreaming of an active, collaborative space for our students to fully immerse themselves in their learning for years,” said Ms. Murkowski, “When we discovered Steelcase, we knew we’d found the perfect match for our vision.”

Ms. Murkowski and Dr. Owens have secured National Science Foundation money to support the development of innovative curriculum and have engaged in developing high impact learning opportunities for science programs for many years. “We expect the new space will help both our students and faculty realize the full potential of an active, student-centered, collaborative classroom. The physical space will encourage and support everything we know about evidence-based best practices in teaching,” stated Dr. Owens. This grant provides them with the perfect opportunity to align their physical classroom with their instruction and directly benefit the diverse community of students at the college.

The grant covers the cost of new furniture, design, installation, onsite training and pre-and post-occupancy measurement tools and is valued at $65,000. The design for the new space is already underway and installation will begin in August and be ready for the start of fall classes. As part of the grant requirements, faculty at the college will monitor their results over the next two years and present their findings on Active Learning Classrooms at a variety of events for college staff and administration.