UMD’s new biz center is getting creative with classroom layout

Technically Baltimore | Stephen Babcock

Inside the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center

COLLEGE PARK, MD (May 11, 2017) — A Baltimore developer’s name adorns a new University of Maryland building that’s looking to break with traditional lecture models and encourage entrepreneurship.

The Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, which was officially dedicated in College Park on Thursday, has a mix of classrooms and teaching labs. The TERP (Teach, Engage, Respond and Participate) classrooms arrange the furniture differently than typical classrooms, whether in round tables or mobile desks. They also have tech to share screens. The building also has lots of group study spaces, as well as two green roofs. Fittingly, the university’s Teaching and Learning Transformation Center will also be housed there.

The university is also concentrating tech and innovation offices within the building. It will be the main hub for UMD’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a center for the IT department’s team focused on academic tech.

The building is on McKeldin Mall, and is the first new academic building there in 50 years.

St. John, who is a UMD alum and founded St. John Properties, donated $10 million for its construction.

“It’s exciting that the vision for a space that will transform the classroom experience and shape the way faculty teach has come to fruition,” he said in a statement.