Re-Imagining Practice in STEM Learning Spaces

A collaborative experience enabling innovative practices in STEM programming.

Group of school children engaging in an active learning experience on modular classroom desks by STEM Learning Design.

RIPLeS (Re-Imagining Practice in STEM Learning Spaces) is a transformative collaborative experience dedicated to fostering innovative practice within school STEM programming. This collaborative school network empowers STEM educators to explore the pivotal role that learning spaces play in either enabling or constraining innovative teaching methods. By investigating the influence of learning spaces on instruction, we aim to reshape the future of school and classroom design, fostering student-centered STEM learning.


The primary objective of RIPLeS is to elevate STEM programming through immersive design experiments within learning spaces, cultivating an environment conducive to innovative practice.

Participating schools identify STEM-related needs or challenges across various dimensions:
Enabling Active
Student-Centered Learning
Increasing Equity &
Cultural Responsiveness
Enhancing Safety
in STEM Learning

Group of school children engaging in an active learning experience on modular classroom desks by STEM Learning Design.

Design Experiments: Transforming Spaces

Experience a profound transformation in STEM education by navigating innovative learning spaces and practices. Discover dynamic settings with inquiry-focused breakout spaces and flexible classroom arrangements. Embrace safety and innovation through green chemistry and digital tools, while fostering authenticity via outdoor learning and inclusive strategies that enhance cultural connections and inclusivity. Participating schools also delve into other design experiments, such as:

Collaborative and Flexible Learning Spaces

  • Establishing small group breakout spaces to foster collaborative inquiry
  • Adapting classroom layouts with mobile lab tables for enhanced flexibility
  • Using technology to engage in STEM learning beyond the school walls

Safety and Innovative Practices

  • Implementing green chemistry practices to enhance student safety
  • Introducing digital tools to engage students in making and iterating
  • Modifying the classroom environment to increase student ownership of STEM spaces

Authentic Experiences and Inclusive Learning

  • Creating outdoor learning spaces for authentic contexts and data utilization
  • Identifying place-based learning activities to enrich cultural connections & applications
  • Creating inclusive inquiry spaces and activities that challenge ableism
  • Enhancing STEM area navigation and ergonomics for improved interaction with learning materials
Students engaging in outdoor STEM learning experiences with educator

RIPLeS: Making Waves Together

Educators’ Role: Collaboration & Experimentation

Participating educators engage in the following process:
  • Collaborate with peers across schools to conceptualize design experiments integrating STEM learning spaces and innovative practice
  • Engage with peers for implementation, reflecting on the impact and lessons learned
  • Share insights and discoveries

Schools’ Commitment: Facilitating Change

Participating schools commit to:
  • Supporting educators in conducting design experiments involving STEM learning spaces and innovative practices
  • Enabling minor modifications to STEM learning spaces, which may include:
    • Rearranging or adding furniture (e.g., replacing classroom desks with mobile tables, introducing standing workstations, integrating a small group table in an adjacent area)
    • Making slight infrastructure adjustments (e.g., relocating electrical outlets, incorporating ceiling drops, installing ventilation ducts for digital equipment, adding glass to classroom doors for breakout space visibility, eliminating fixed demo stations)
    • Procuring minor equipment and materials (e.g., opting for alternatives to gas Bunsen burners, choosing safer substitutes for commonly used chemicals, integrating compact digital tools, acquiring materials for new outdoor learning spaces)
  • Encouraging educators to share their experiment outcomes

Support from STEM Learning Design

STEM Learning Design provides participating educators the following supports:
  • Facilitation of collaborative groups
  • Customized design experiment guidance fitting each school’s context
  • Showcasing innovative STEM practices and learning spaces, potentially including site visits
  • An expansive network of STEM peers for invaluable collaboration and professional development

For information about RIPLeS, please contact:

Jake Foster
STEM Learning Design

Meg Moriarty
MegMor Consulting

Marti Cohn
STEM Educator