Rockhurst University STEAM Studio

Students with teacher at STEAM Studio

The Rockhurst University STEAM Studio Pop-Up Space is a creative place where faculty, staff and students can work with community members and other local learners to engage in collaborative, innovative educational activities. Located in the lower level of Greenlease Library, this co-op space is designed for learners from a variety of schools, organizations and grade levels to utilize design thinking activities with the freedom to move and think.

Students learning in a professional office alongside experts see behaviors modeled daily, such as entrepreneurialism, design thinking, creativity and complex problem solving.

This initiative helps diversify the STEM/STEAM pipeline (minorities, women, under-served students), opens doors for low-income communities in Kansas City and spans generations of learners.

This video was produced by Gould Evans, a national design and planning firm that operates a STEAM Studio within their Kansas City workplace.


The 5 Pillars of STEAM Studio

  1. Custom-designed programming
    1. Designed to augment school programming, filling in learning gaps
    2. Tailored to each school/client
    3. No prescriptive curriculum – we co-design programming with each partner
  2. Professional work environment
    1. Students gain exposure to the authentic working world
    2. Learners manage themselves as adults, choosing their space to work and how they arrange the furniture
    3. Workplace competencies are developed (“enterprise skills”)
    4. Architects and designers reveal the design thinking process – a process students take with them to use for a lifetime
    5. The space is theirs – not cluttered by teacher belongings like many classrooms
  3. Building entrepreneurial mindsets
    1. Creative thinking is essential to success in the gig economy
    2. Developed through student-led learning
    3. Authentic audiences – professionals provide feedback to students
    4. Real-world applications engage learners
    5. Embrace “failing forward” through an iterative approach
      1. Builds grit, resilience, creative thinking and comfort with non-perfection
  4. Educators improve methods and strategies
    1. Teachers can get outside their normal teaching spaces to gain fresh perspectives
    2. Catalyst for change – shift from traditional methodologies
    3. Inspiration from the professional setting – foster self-regulated learners
    4. Rockhurst education students bring valuable practicum experience to their profession
    5. “Live professional development” (live with students) promotes new teaching practices
    6. Teacher observation supports teacher development
  5. Changing the way schools are designed
    1. A lab for architects and educators to observe how kids react to space
    2. A place to enhance how space design supports 21st century education
    3. Architects have hands-on coaching experience – insights to improve school design

How to Participate

Visit STEAM Studio online for more information on who can participate and how to get involved.

About STEAM Studio

Our vision is to redefine the “education quotient” using STEAM initiatives, where kids feel inspired by space and pedagogy to take risks and become active learners across differentiated projects, ultimately resulting in a more prepared and innovative workforce.

Our mission is to be a catalyst for change, via a living demonstration of an adaptive education system that supports and inspires area students and educators through design thinking, learning and research-based outcomes.