In early September 2019, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors hosted our second annual FLIP Your Classroom contest to provide local students and teachers with a space that fosters collaboration, teamwork, and peer-to-peer communication. The learning needs of students and teaching needs of educators vary throughout the day, and Atmosphere set out to provide spaces where students have choice and control over their learning environment, thus creating ownership of the learning process and making a successful outcome more likely.

After review of the inspiring and heartfelt submissions by a panel of four judges, local teacher Kari Sawyer was awarded $50,000 to design a classroom that would deliver a high-quality educational experience. Sawyer is an Academic Specialist of middle school science students at Global Academy in New Brighton, MN. Following the ribbon cutting, Sawyer walked through her classroom doors to see her updated classroom for the first time. Followed by teachers and eager students, Sawyer wasn’t the only one whose face revealed excitement and awe at the newly refurnished STEM room!

We were so excited to work on Kari’s STEM classroom. She teaches three completely different classes to three age groups, each with their own unique needs and activities, not to mention students under 5’ tall and over 6’. There was a lot to accommodate in this classroom and we enjoyed the challenge! Now Kari’s classroom has mobile furniture that can be arranged in a myriad of different ways to accommodate all of the fun and active learning experiences. Her students can learn as a large group, in small groups or individually at desks, tables, standing spaces or soft seating breakout spaces.

~Juli Olson, Education Consultant

Location: New Brighton, MN

Photographer: Gamut One Studios

Architect: NA

Date Completed: 2019

Square Footage: NA

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