Three innovative STEM labs at the Istituto Comprensivo di Casteggio

STEM labs with HELGI furniture

Ligra DS - Education Division

Supplier of STEM furniture.
For information:

Esse Due di Scolè Enrico e C. sas

Local dealer.

Three innovative set-ups at the disposal of the pupils and teachers of theIstituto Comprensivo di Casteggio. The retailer Esse Due sas supplied the school with furniture Ligra Education to set up two STEAM labs, allowing the institute to align itself with the PNSD: the public notice for the creation of laboratory spaces and the provision of digital tools for STEAM learning.

The first installation was carried out in the secondary school for an innovative workshop at height-adjustable trapezoidal benches and innovative HELGI seatsan environment particularly conducive to STEAM education thanks to the possibility of arranging the desks in an 'island' configuration to group activities, research, cooperative learning, school newspaper writing, reading/reading and remedial learning.

HELGI trapezoidal benches
HELGI trapezoidal benches

The other two STEAM workshops were set up at the primary school: one always with trapezoidal benchesthe other with clove counters and is used as a classroom for reading aloud, art and image and creative workshop, classroom for inclusive activities.

HELGI segmented benches
HELGI segmented benches

An arrangement that favours diversified teaching methods

The need to set up classrooms with these furnishings stems from the need to use different classroom settings depending on the teaching methodology used.
Following the health emergency, the furniture responded well to the need to set up a language laboratory in the "one-to-one", with a distance of 1 metre between pupils and, at the same time, to be used (due to the immediacy with which they can be easily moved) in pairs (approached along the shorter base) for the dialogues in L2 among the boys.

The possibility of using the green hexagonal benchescomplementing the islands or in different arrangements made it easy to obtain workstations for teachers engaged in distance learning/lectures/webinars.

Classroom arrangements conducive to learning, sharing and socialising

The teaching activities are facilitated because the furnishings are functional to the methodology to be developed, i.e. active, interactive and engaging, fostering exploration and collaboration in a dynamic way, strengthening the interaction between students, teachers and content.

Classrooms encourage a dynamic methodology, capable of mixing traditional lessons with cooperative approaches in a few minutes because the furniture can be moved very easily on wheels.

STEM laboratory

Activities between different classes, between classes of different institutes, with external experts

The classrooms have been set up with a open class teaching. However, in the first instance, the health emergency and the need to isolate individual class groups did not favour the formative exchange of experiences between classes. Subsequently, once the emergency was over, lessons were held in maths enhancement open classes, carried out before the return of the pandemic wave, with cooperative learning activities in algebra between classes.

Furthermore, the institute, being a comprehensive with 15 locations, often realises projects between students from different locations (language courses, painting courses, art courses, etc.).

In addition to these experiences, fruitful collaboration with various training realities outside the school. For example, with the engineering and physics department of the University of Pavia (project 'Let's go to school", and project "An hour with the researcher") involving teachers and undergraduate or graduate students in the implementation of STEM experiments that could not be realised with the institute's internal equipment and expertise alone. The project involves both primary and secondary school pupils.

Help even for comrades with more difficulties

Pupils with difficulties overcome obstacles encountered in learning more easily, because the development of empathy and communication skillsfavoured by cooperative activities, supports the class group and increases individual self-esteem.

Working in a group, like working in a sports team or an orchestra, makes one stronger and more aware of the importance of achieving common goals.

Classroom configurations that foster socialisation and inclusion

Dynamics such as marginalisation, bullying and cyberbullying are - unfortunately - the order of the day among pupils, and the pupils themselves hardly tend to express them in the classroom context. A working method that actively and dynamically involves groups of pupils fosters an exchange of experiences that consolidates positive relationships and excludes forms of isolation and exclusion from the peer group by favouring socialisation and inclusion.

Cooperative learning workshop

The students...

Young people and children always enthusiastically welcome new things that allow them to work and learn together: let us remember that meaningful learning is a relational experiencee, an exchange of emotions and ideas, before the acquisition of content.

A colourful classroom with new furniture designed for themat a dark and difficult time of health emergency, it also opens up for them prospects of rebirth.

...and teachers

The classroom will be used by the institute's teachers with different working methodologies and approachesaccording to the aims set out in the PNSD notice "Digital spaces and tools for STEM", so it will soon be completed with an interactive monitor, scientific displays of microscopy, robotics and art.

Also in compliance with regulations imposed

Both the trapezoid and petal benches were purchased in the midst of a health emergency and their design, which allows them to work both close together and apart in different configurations, was a decisive factor.
Trapezoidal lecture desks

Workshops enabling post-lockdown recovery and recuperation

Undoubtedly, the period we have gone through has caused serious discomfort in social relations among the pupils: fears, uncertainties and difficulties have made everyone psychologically weaker and more conditioned in their relationships with others. The possibility of fostering physical contact even with the classroom setting, restoring group learning practices, circle timelooking each other in the eye and rediscovering complicity and understanding with their companions, restores meaning to the importance of the class group and the word 'together' on which the school is based.