John Wallace Middle School Academy of Aerospace + Engineering
Newington, CT

Driven by the desire for innovative educational design solutions, today’s school districts seek design partners who create spaces that meet the changing needs of 21st Century learners, and the public school district of Newington, CT, is no exception.


To meet this demand, the QA+M Architecture design team integrated evidence-based solutions into its design of the Academy of Aerospace + Engineering. We transformed a PCB-contaminated, 10,000-SF vocational wing, once home to traditional shop classrooms, into a high-tech academy dedicated to a rigorous aerospace-focused STEM curriculum for seventh and eighth graders.


The Academy of Aerospace + Engineering is designed as a flexible and innovative instructional space that emulates a research facility by providing students with project-based learning experiences through:

  • a model-building workshop

  • 3D modeling equipment

  • a wind tunnel for testing model planes

  • flight simulators

  • ceiling-mounted electrical reel power supply

  • flexible furnishings

The flow between labs and common areas, flexibility of lab space, and mobility of furniture connect the space to the curriculum.



  • Transformed 10,000-SF vocational wing into a high-tech STEM Academy

  • Cost: $2 million