Meridiana Learning Labs

Client Name

Rise Communities

Location

Iowa Colony, Texas

design features

observation deck
habitats
solar system & phases
web-based activities
weather stations
gardens
cisterns
wetlands
landforms for erosion & geological phenomena
solar panels
sun dial
motion & energy studies

services rendered

site planning
community outreach services
design review committee services
character & theming
landscape architecture
signage master planning
cost estimates & budget analysis
grading design
project management
construction services

One of the most unique and rewarding features of Meridiana is the number of Learning Labs that will be located throughout the community. Each one will offer a unique opportunity for hands-on learning and experimentation for residents of all ages with subjects including water, weather, space, ecosystems, agriculture, force, motion, and energy. AndersonBaron has been collaborating with Rise Communities design team and Alvin ISD on the learning lab programming to assure they became more than an interactive park for the community.

The addition of learning labs will provide students from nearby schools the opportunity to learn in an environmental outdoor classroom by providing tangible hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, teachers will be able to customize the labs by utilizing “QR” codes to target their students’ learning experience, and directly plan a series of experiments that can be performed to correlate with their students’ ages and studies. Meridiana has three schools within the community.

A network of primary and intermediate trails and pathways are designed and organized around each learning lab, creating a “loop” with multiple levels of connectivity: connecting learning labs to each other, their individual neighborhoods, the greater community, adjacent schools, and the Meridiana Community Center. Each Loop is designed around a broad macro theme with the labs along each loop emphasizing the various aspects of the theme. Common threads of the learning lab themes can be found throughout the loop, and accessible for onsite teaching at any level. Regardless of the age of the user or the location within Meridiana, the Learning Labs and Loops further the idea that people acquire knowledge best when they can connect what they are learning to the real world.

The first learning lab at Meridiana is designed for discovery of the nighttime sky and its influence on historical navigation and travel; aptly named after the inventor of the telescope, Galileo. Paying homage to the Italian astronomer, physicist, philosopher, and mathematician, Galileo’s Lab is roughly a half-acre in size and includes a planetarium, telescopes, planetary solar system, ship wheel and sextant, whisper catcher, fishing and observation deck, bird houses, weather station, outdoor classrooms, slides and climbing pieces, rocket landing site, benches and tables, and thematic planting. The design combines play and learning within its elements for residents or students of any age.

The interactive “Skymap” is another learning lab that’s located in the center of the Amenity Village. This is an actual map of the sun patterns etched into the pavement and mimics the motion of the sun over the course of the year. Several learning labs are planned for Meridiana including themes of motion and energy, life sciences, and the earth’s natural resources. A discovery trail will connect all of them.

Client Name

Rise Communities

Location

Iowa Colony, Texas

design features

observation deck
habitats
solar system & phases
web-based activities
weather stations
gardens
cisterns
wetlands
landforms for erosion & geological phenomena
solar panels
sun dial
motion & energy studies

services rendered

site planning
community outreach services
design review committee services
character & theming
landscape architecture
signage master planning
cost estimates & budget analysis
grading design
project management
construction services

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