Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS) was conceived as a response to Highline Public Schools’ desire to provide students access to engineering professions, its proximity to the aviation industry, and its educational vision that melds hands-on, project-based learning with academic rigor. The new 400-student STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school enables students to flourish through co-location with the Museum of Flight and immersion in aerospace and aviation.
The design responds to the site and program with a three-story building featuring: a grand central stairway that provides the school’s social hub, informal learning opportunities, and student display areas. Learning clusters radiate from the stairs, each with a flexible breakout area overlooking airport activity to the east or boat traffic on the Duwamish River to the west. The Commons and Multi-Purpose Room transform into one, two-level space enabling students to deliver formal presentations to industry partners and the student body. Labs are designed to support the robotics program and are outfitted with equipment, technology, and a wind tunnel to encourage a broad range of exploration. Ground floor labs promote educational partnership with the Museum of Flight by opening directly to the museum’s Airpark – an outdoor aircraft gallery where prestigious planes are exhibited. Small conference rooms support the school’s mentor/student agenda and provide private areas for discussion and exchange.
“It was worth waiting for – to get a location with 200 air and space related entities and be on the property with the Museum of Flight, and to get a school with a design that just speaks to what we do here … It extends the learning opportunity – the learning on this campus is amazing!”
Reba Gilman, Former Principal and CEO, Raisbeck Aviation High School