Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy

DeSoto Independent School District

DeSoto, Texas

Project Info
Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy
DeSoto, Texas
Completion Date: August 2018
Square Footage: 109,500 SF new construction
Grades: K-5
Student capacity: 900
Services: architecture, interior design, FF&E
School Planning & Management Education Design Showcase, Project of Distinction, 2018

With the creation of Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy, DeSoto ISD sought to offer its youngest students access to technology-based educational opportunities. The dynamic facility delivers a revolutionary approach to elementary education and showcases how the district is proactively working to set children up for success in fast-growing industries.

Seeking to engage students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and outdoor learning, Perkins+Will explored how the design of the building could enhance this mission. Our team developed a hyper-adaptable space with each grade level featuring its own unprogrammed collaboration area, ready to accommodate everything from project activities to group work. Nestled in the heart of the school is a vibrant two-story media center where students can engage in project-based scenarios while enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Colorful nooks for quiet study punctuate open collaboration areas and a variety of outdoor environments encourage student engagement, provide natural daylight, maximize transparency, and inspire curiosity.

A two-story wall graphic, designed to offer moments that educate and inspire across multiple disciplines and age groups, features a space-travel theme that connects content to nearby programmatic offerings. Dynamic QR codes embedded in the graphics enable students to access supplementary information through school-issued iPads, and give teachers flexibility to alter the content tied to the codes at any time.