Global Monarch Academy, Laurel Campus
Global Monarch Academy’s mural installations stand out because they are integrated into a unique education philosophy, the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). The principals, which you can read below, influence how we design each project:
“Through a project-based learning approach, the incorporation of neuroscience techniques, and character education, students at Monarch Global Academy gain a perspective on their impact and contribution to the world. Students become responsible citizens of their communities, where they consider real-world problems, take action, and ultimately, compete effectively in tomorrow’s world.”
In this case, the murals are an extension of the learning environment outside the classroom. Not only do they function to make the school a beautiful, supportive place to learn, they also directly correlate to curriculum material. Thereby, students absorb information through visual organization and story-telling while walking from class to class.
Stairwell Murals, Continental Biome Maps
The Stairwells at Global Monarch Academy act as a way to travel the globe by walking from one end of the school to another. Large-scale maps showcasing major animal groups and physical biomes found in each continent are spread out between three stairwells.
The southern stairwell depicts North and South America, the central stairwell depicts Africa, Europe and Asia, and the stairwell towards the back of the school depicts Antarctica and Oceania. Each map is equipped with major landmarks, a compass, and a biome key so students can identify how the globe’s climate is affected by topographical features. This leads to further discussion about students’ roles in taking care of the environment.
Photos of Continental Biome Maps by photographer Tara Sloane
For this cafeteria, NS Studios designed a mural that illustrates outdoor markets found in agriculturally rich areas of the North and South Hemispheres. We created a collage of environments, people and local food resources to show the diversity that exists within each region based on cultural traditions, while simultaneously showing the similarities that evolve out of living in similar climates around the world. Even though the north-facing wall of the cafe displays the areas in the northern hemisphere and vice versa, if you look closely you’ll see similar foods reflected on either side.
This mural was designed by Nancy Scheinman and painted by our crew under NS Studios, hoping to inspire students' curiosity with visions of celestial wonder. Transformation Education (TranZed) is part of the curriculum taught at this school, and emphasizes interactive, project-based learning with a focus on arts and tech integration. As students enter the school, they immediately begin thinking about space and exploration on a grand scale, encouraging questions like “ How did the Earth get here? ” or “ What is space made out of? ”. We love those sculptural hand-made letters.
Cultural Arts Hallway
This hallway houses the kinesiology lab, art and music classes. We designed a timeline that shows the development of the visual, musical, and dance-based arts, highlighting key movements through history with an emphasis on globally-connected topics and technological integration, such as the invention of print, anatomy, photography, and mechanization in energy production. The mural timeline ends in an open dialogue that connects back to the front lobby about using creative thinking towards innovative solutions to the world’s conflicts like responsible energy use.
For this mural, designed by Nancy Scheinman, we designed a collage of larger-than-life figures acting out all the major movement gestures the kinesiology teachers includes in her classes. Global Monarch Academy is a bilingual school, so notice how the words are in English and Spanish. When teaching the beginning of movement class, students can look up at the wall for inspiration!
Rural and Urban Education in Africa
Students don’t often have a chance to consider what education is like outside of their hometown, or in another country all together. The Children’s Guild is all about learning outside of the classroom and relating to how other cultures learn as well. With this mural, we depicted youth participating in farming, sports, games, and referenced important historical figures in equal education like Nelson Mandela.