Sci-Tech High School, Harrisburg, PA’s new magnet high school for math and science, occupies the former YMCA building in the downtown area. The high school’s creative and unconventional educational model promotes maximum planned interaction between students and faculty, along with opportunities for chance encounters and impromptu meetings. A primary reception desk with security staff welcomes students and visitors to the facility throughout the day. A three story intercommunication stair provides ease of movement for students and staff alike, encouraging frequent interaction beyond the classroom or office suite, and numerous meeting rooms and social spaces encourage small group interaction.
General classrooms are not owned by individual instructors, and were designed to allow instruction of multiple subjects. Traditional distance technologies are employed throughout the facility, including laptop computers, which are issued to all students and faculty. Information is accessed via a building-wide wireless network, and workstations located in the Resource Center provide additional CPU or for intensive graphic or calculation-based projects. More than just a library, the Resource Center is an extension of the classrooms and laboratories on the upper levels. In addition to the 15,000 hard bound volumes, other subscription-based publications can be accessed via the internet.
Each of the three laboratories includes small product work areas for small group work in addition to the fixed workbenches and instructor stations, each supplied with compressed air, de-ionized water, gas, and other utilities. Flexibility and mobility are achieved with mobile work surfaces, allowing easy reconfiguration of the rooms as required.
In addition to the 3 levels of instructional areas, the facility also provides support spaces on the fourth floor & in the lower level. The lower level houses a stand-alone food service operation and multipurpose room. Throughout the day, visiting lectures in this area feature business & civic leaders as well as visiting faculty. The fifth floor provides space for faculty offices as well as incubator space for future emerging technical businesses.