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New Furniture Enhances Learning for STEAM Students

New furniture in the STEAM classroom at Furnace Woods gives students options while learning.

New furniture in the STEAM classroom at Furnace Woods gives students options while learning.

The old wooden tables and bookcases and faded rugs are gone. Sitting in place of those weathered items is now something entirely different — striking white, orange, and green furniture that rolls along the now-bare floor. It can even be adjusted based on a student or teacher’s wish.

The STEAM classroom at Furnace Woods has been transformed this fall, thanks to new tables and seating from Media Technologies, a family-operated furniture company in Michigan that produces educational furniture.

STEAM teacher Megan Boyle said her newly-outfitted room allows for better adaptability, both for her and her students. The tables and chairs are mobile and can be used for groups that require different configurations to learn together, or just to free up floor space.

“It’s been really good to help students who have different styles of learning,” Boyle said.

The furniture was purchased with the aid of the Hendrick Hudson Community Education Fund, and was funded using a portion of grant money the district received from Entergy. Prior to the purchase, STEAM classes were outfitted with static furniture, which needed to be pushed across the rug to meet whatever needs it could. Now, one group of students can come together at one table, while others can be seated at a high-top or play with a robot rolling along the smooth floor. There is even new wall space for a green screen for recording videos, like the FWS News, which is recorded and posted on the school's YouTube channel.

“This gives them a lot more autonomy for whatever it is they need,” Boyle said.

Even the colors have meaning.The color green promotes calmness and clarity while reducing stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Because it is considered a restful color, it can even aid in improving memory and enhancing focus. The bright orange hues are known to attract attention and inspire creativity in an educational setting. Orange can boost the mood of students and encourage them to express their emotions.

Boyle said the students have had a very positive reaction since the new furniture was installed last month.

“It’s been a lot more fun for them,” she said.