Interior Office

Charles H Barrows STEM Academy

Originally slated as an environmental sciences and cultural magnet school, the Town of Windham changed the school’s direction and established the first K-8 STEM School in northeast Connecticut.  STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and focuses on these subjects to help our nation’s youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems and drive advancements in science and technology.

The new 83,700 square foot school accommodates 600 students ranging from full day pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and serves the Town of Windham and ten surrounding magnet towns.    

Situated at the core of the building, the new project science room cantilevers into the courtyards below which serve as outdoor classrooms. The students can view rainwater as it drains off the roof down rain chains into a bio-swale which runs through the center of the courtyard. The Oceanography Lab was equipped with salt and fresh water aquariums and a touch-tank for aquatic and marine sciences and biology studies. A dedicated technology room offers bench space and a 3D CAD printer to produce student models.


Additional sustainable features include a sundial, and butterfly, vegetable, flower and sensory gardens which are used as learning tools for the students. Since the facility is located in a wetland area, a retention basin was constructed to manage water on the site which is fed from the bio-swale in the courtyard. The wind turbine, solar electric panels and photovoltaic panels generate power, reducing the schools energy consumption.

Photos by Jeff Adams Photography