Histrionics of Bioscience High School
(1 of 4)In early 2000, Arizona leaders, in collaboration with the Flinn Foundation, launched their vision for developing Arizona as a global bioscience research and commercial center. Revitalization efforts for the city of Phoenix included the development of a biomedical campus in the heart of downtown. Phoenix Union High School District leadership joined the initiative to make the state’s bioscience sector globally competitive by developing a highly specialized science high school and locating it in downtown Phoenix’s biomedical footprint.
Phoenix Union High School District leadership responded to Arizona State’s aspiration to “grow our own” bioscience workforce and the small schools movement taking hold across the nation by committing resources to the development of a small science focused high school. Supporters of the small schools initiative contend that small school environments are more responsive to urban students’ educational needs; better preparing them for success in post-secondary education, work and life. Small specialty schools of 400 or fewer students provide opportunities for students of similar interests to become connected to a unique learning community.
Phoenix Union Bioscience High School was developed through an extensive research process, over the course of three years (2003-2006). An advisory committee, a design team, and several focus groups were involved in answering the many questions related to creating an intellectually vibrant community of learners. Once the school’s mission, goals and vision were established, architects were selected to provide an architectural solution supportive of the teaching philosophy and curriculum, while being sensitive to the unique site conditions.