Charles County's Digital Classroom Design Wins Numerous Awards

LA PLATA, Md.—Charles County Public Schools digital classroom design, created by SHW Group, LLP and planned for the county's next new high school, recently won three design awards from School Design.

The design won the "2008 Design Collabetition High Tech Gold Award", the "2008 Design Collabetition Students Love It Gold Award", and the "2008 Design Collebetition BEST Gold Award" in School Design's first architectural awards program.

The design won the High Tech Gold Award for its design as a virtual communication center where students can apply skills in mathematics, science and technology.

Judge Michael Duffy said the digital classroom's design and technology were essential in the future of education. "Good design - high-tech or other design - is not going to erase the achievement gap in this country. However, good design and advanced technology should be the foundation upon which good school programs are operated," he said.

The design received the BEST Gold award for its use of technology and high-resolution graphics for instructional purposes. Judge Guy Chamberlain said the design is a "significant breakthrough that redefines the 21st century classroom."

School Design also invited a panel of student judges for the Students Love It awards, to allow them to choose designs they think are practical for student use.

The 14-student judges chose the digital classroom design as the top winner. Becky Gunnell, an eleventh-grader from Wisconsin, served as a student judge and said the digital classroom design was amazing. "This digital classroom looks really amazing…I wish I had a chance to learn like that!" Other student judges commented on the design's multi-purpose uses for students.

SHW Group, LLP submitted a design package to School Design that consisted of schematics and a CCPS-produced DVD.

The digital classroom is designed as a multi-use theater that uses high resolution, three-dimensional graphics, and surround sound to enhance learning experiences for students. The dome theater is a tool that gives teachers the option of advancing lessons from lecture to interactive classes using three-dimensional visuals. Classroom space includes 130-150 seats. Instructional programs for students at all CCPS schools, as well as the community, will be available. was created to help elevate the level of school design around the world and features creative school designs, school design professionals and the high quality products.

Source: Charles County Public School System

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