The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

Steelcase Education Accepting Applications for 5th Annual Active Learning Center Grant

Grand Rapids, Mich. – PRNewswire – Steelcase Education is seeking innovative educators and educational institutions looking to implement and expand active learning initiatives to apply for its fifth annual Active Learning Center Grant. The company will award up to 16 grants to select 6-12 schools, colleges or universities, providing one active learning classroom, including furniture, design review, installation, onsite training and pre- and post-occupancy measurement tools.

Today's teachers are tasked with preparing students for workplaces that require both hard and soft skills – technical knowledge blended with the ability to communicate, collaborate and work in teams. It's this new range of skills that has led many leading educators and institutions to implement active learning pedagogies. Active learning requires engaging students with hands-on group work, discussion, synthesis and analysis. 

"Many learning institutions try to shift from passive to active learning by changing their pedagogies and technologies, and often lack the physical spaces that encourage movement, collaboration and various learning modes," said Madelyn Hankins, Steelcase Education general manager. "By connecting space, pedagogy and technology in an active learning classroom schools can create active learning environments that increase student learning, innovation, creativity, and ultimately enhance student success." 

Grant recipients choose from four types of classrooms designed for up to 30 students, valued at $67,000. Eligible classrooms must be located in the United States, U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico, Canada or Mexico. In the first four years, fifty-six middle schools, high schools and colleges and universities have benefited from Steelcase Education's investment of more than $3.5 million in creating flexible classroom environments that promote the advancement of active learning.

"For past grantees, the flexible classroom furnishings have allowed for more interactive, collaborative and participatory learning experiences," said Craig Wilson, director of the Steelcase Active Learning Center Grant. "At some schools, active learning spaces provided by Steelcase Education are breaking down physical and organizational barriers to learning. At others, Active Learning Centers have fostered an increase in student and parent engagement."

Grant recipients agree to provide sufficient dedicated space, participate in Steelcase Education onsite training, and conduct and share research related to the Active Learning Center over a two-year period.

Learning from Past Recipients

At one Active Learning Center grant recipient, Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, SC, seventh-grade teacher Dr. Julie Marshall reported the percentage of completed assignments increased from 53 percent to 97 percent; year-end student grades averaged an increase of a whole letter grade; and the number of students exceeding their Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) goal increased by 30 percent.

Applicants can apply for the grant here and register for the grant webinar, Strategies for Writing a Successful ALC Grant, to be held Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. ET, here.

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