STEM Center Nearly Ready to Open Its Doors


Mr. Johansen

All of the middle school teachers pose for a picture in the newly built Maglio Family STEM Center on May 1, 2019.

As the finishing touches are put on the brand new Maglio Family STEM Center, the TBS community can only wait to see what it has to offer next year. There is a chance that it will be open during the last week of school, but until the campus is given the certificate of occupancy by the Village of North Palm Beach, no students may enter the building.

However, on Wednesday, May 1, the middle school faculty was given an exclusive tour through the building.

“(One of my favorite features) is a room where one part is a design center, and one part is a fabrication center,” said seventh-grade humanities teacher Mr. Nathan Ginnetty. “I can tell you that you will see a lot more hands-on based projects, not only in science and math but also in English as well. I was really impressed by it.”

Ginnetty also said that he is excited to incorporate STEM into his curriculum as much as possible. “Me personally as an English and history teacher, I would like to be in there as much as possible,” he said. “It is not going to be a place where you receive instruction and take notes. It seems to be the type of place where you can physically create something by working together.”

Mr. Crisafi
Mr. Ronald Ream, Mrs. Anne Franzen, and Mr. Matthew Oster talk about the features of the new STEM center in one of the second-floor classrooms.

There is no doubt that this new facility will be the crown jewel of the Lower/Middle School Campus, with many exciting features for students to enjoy in the near future, such as maker spaces, engineering and robotics classes, 3D printers, and more desktop computers for students to learn new software.

As of now, there is air-conditioning, electricity, and plumbing in the building, so it is is basically ready for use. However, the interactive whiteboards and some of the furniture and electronics have not yet been installed.

Once students are allowed to enter the building, they will discover all of the cool features and designs of the STEM Center. One such feature will be the collaborative spaces in the new classrooms.

“I think the biggest thing is the space and light of the classrooms,” said Chief Development Officer Juan Carlos Fanjul. “A lot of them have huge floor to ceiling windows, and they are spacious because the ceilings are ten feet high. You will notice a remarkable difference [between the space] in the regular classrooms and the classrooms in the STEM center.”

When asked about the grand opening of the facility, Fanjul expected the building

to be open the final week of the 2018-19 school year, which is the week of May 20.

Mr. Crisafi
Mr. Bob Bayless inspects an outlet in the new building. Many of the classrooms have outlets descending from the ceiling so students will be able to use an array of tools and even charge their laptops.

“So what’s going to happen is that maybe the very last week of school, you guys will be able to see it –  that’s what we hope. And that you will be able to walk through the building and see it for yourselves,” he said.

In terms of how the building will be used, all grade levels and subjects will be welcome according to Middle School STEM Coordinator Mr. Matthew Oster.

“Every student in the Middle School and Lower School will utilize the building, so every discipline will go through it on a rotational basis with Google Calendars that we will set up,” said Oster. “I think the history classes will go through first with their models and proposals for their Washington, D.C. trip. For the monuments, they will actually design them and hopefully build them because there will be 3D printers inside of the building. Then, they can bring their 3D models to Washington, D.C. Every class has to go there and apply some of their knowledge-based content, and use it in there to construct a problem. Like what is a problem in art class? Can we solve it, and actually design a solution to solve it?”

Overall, the STEM Center sounds and looks like it will be a monumental addition to Benjamin’s Lower/Middle School Campus. Mr. Oster’s main goal with the STEM Center is to introduce endless possibilities and a new way of learning that no student or teacher has ever seen before. He’s confident that “it will become the standard and the core of the Benjamin curriculum.”