Harrison Elementary's new STEAM campus and eLab promote empowered students and community

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

What do a nature park, wetlands, Hamilton County Schools eLabs, and outdoor learning space all have in common? They are just some of the many exciting features of innovative learning and community collaboration to take place at Harrison Elementary School's new STEAM campus.

5th grade HES students participate in design challenge*

Set to debut the building in early January, the new HES STEAM location has been quite the journey in the making. Built in 1939, the original HES infrastructure was not up to par with where it should be, and former principal Wendy Jung said they were determined to find a new and improved learning facility for students. Jung also shared that with the new facility, came the vision of starting an initiative to empower children. "Children want to be empowered and want to be in charge of their learning," stated Jung, who currently advises and supports the school and its coaches in formulating and achieving the school's STEAM vision. Part of that vision includes children embracing their individual learning journey, which includes becoming immersed in their own community. "Our vision is to give students the opportunity to be problem solvers and vital community members," shared Jung. "We want kids so invested in their community that they speak for the community."

5th graders zoom with TDOT engineers for design challenge*

HES believes in the four C’s of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity, which were taken into consideration to meet the needs of all learners when planning out each space in the new building. The goal was to allow each student to feel empowered to fully maximize their learning abilities. "What’s exciting about being able to have a new facility at the same time you have a new vision journey for students is that everything in the building was selected to support that vision and that work," shared Jung. One example includes combining a traditional art lab and traditional science lab into a makers