During this workshop we discussed how innovative environments for early childhood and elementary age students can help develop creative learning dispositions during the brain’s most active period of synaptic growth. Project- and play-based learning are experiences that support inquiry and have significant long-term benefits.

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Meet The Experts

Casey Smith

Casey’s experience includes a number of complex projects, including renovations, additions and new construction. Most recently his experience has been focused on student life spaces and non-traditional academic environments that support student success, including innovation centers, maker space, athletic centers and student centers. He is involved in all phases of a project including programming, feasibility studies, design, documents, and construction administration. His experience includes numerous presentations to community and regulatory groups, and he has a proven track record for keeping difficult projects on schedule and on budget.


Neil Murray

Neil is a project manager and experienced planner in HCM’s Education studio. With more than 15 years’ experience in designing and delivering complex projects, he espouses an integrative design process from the very beginning of the project, working to understand the goals of clients and users and developing a design through an open and collaborative process. Neil shares his passion for learning and creating beautiful, functional spaces with his clients and school partners, and facilitates a planning and design process that puts the learner at the center of all explorations and decisions.

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