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Learning Spaces

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Our vast and stunning 360-acre campus is the perfect place to learn, play, and grow.

Here, students participate in hands-on, authentic activities surrounded by nature and beauty. With spacious academic buildings and a rich selection of woods, ponds, gardens, and fields, the opportunities for academic exploration in and out of the classroom are abundant. Whether it’s building team-working skills up high on the Challenge Course, collecting data samples in the woods, or scoring a touchdown on the football field—at Principia, growth occurs all over campus. 

On-Campus Learning Spaces

IDEA
IDEA Labs (two labs serve students K–12)

State-of-the-art work stations allow students to move beyond textbooks and theory to further develop their future-ready skills. Students of all ages engage with practical problem-solving and exploration in computer science, mathematics, software engineering, digital art, communication and more. Think of them as high-tech workshops where students learn about the world around them through STEM-focused exploration. 

IDEA Centers

Our two IDEA Centers combine cutting-edge technology with ample space to create and grow through collaborative, self-directed learning. Inviting, multipurpose spaces offer digital tools alongside traditional reference sources. A mix of reading and study areas allows students to work comfortably in collaboration or on their own.

Media and Communications Center

Featuring a fully equipped television and sound-recording studio and a spacious Mac lab, our Media Lab is the perfect experimentation center for online publishing, digital design, and film classes. Here, you’ll find young creatives producing our School news show (Principia News Network), recording music, or perhaps even airing a podcast episode for Entrepreneurship class. 

Gardens

Our four unique gardens and greenhouse promote sustainability across campus and provide an enriching, educational experience for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The gardens offer opportunities to teach students the science behind what they eat while exploring the basics of entrepreneurship and reaping the benefits of self-sufficiency. 

Early Childhood and Lower School Playgrounds

Walk onto the Preschool playground and you’ll find young children playing on natural wooden structures or collecting leaves for a class project. During recess in Lower School, you’ll find students feeding or holding the School ducks and chickens. The outdoors are an important part of the learning experience for our lower levels—whether it’s time to play or time to learn. 

Black Box Theatre (Upper School)

Seating up to 100 people, the Black Box Theatre is the heart and soul of the Upper School theater program. During the day, it serves as a classroom where students study technique and rehearse. During performance weekends, it hosts numerous fall and spring performances that showcase plays written, directed, and/or performed by students.

Art Studios (Lower, Middle, and Upper School)

Step into any of our studios and you’ll observe creativity come to life as students develop skills in visual art while debating and discussing its meaning and relevance to 21st-century society. Integrating history, science, and technology into learning, our studios provide the perfect environment for making creative connections. 

Dance Studios

Three brightly lit and spacious studios provide students the opportunity to explore a variety of dance styles—with ample room to move. Here, dancers take technique classes, study dance history, choreograph their own pieces, and practice for performances for the School community. 

Challenge Course

Our high-ropes course offers an adventure challenge that pushes mental and physical limits. Closer to ground level, the low-ropes course poses interesting dilemmas that call for imaginative maneuvering and movement. With top-quality equipment and well-trained instructors who put safety first, kindergarteners through upper schoolers learn to support each other and scale new heights.

Performing Arts Center

Our newly renovated Performing Arts Center confirms the central role and vitality of the arts at Principia. This state-of-the-art space can accommodate individual practice sessions, band rehearsals, and tap dancing all at once.

Community

We reach out and use our surrounding community as a laboratory to provide authentic learning experiences. Powerful connections are made when students are able to engage with the world around them—from talking with business owners in downtown St. Louis in Entrepreneurship class to visiting an urban food roof to see sustainable food systems in action, the greater community provides an environment that is both dynamic and relevant. 

Trails

Beyond our educational facilities, our campus includes over 100+ acres of diverse habitats including fields, meadows, forest, ponds, and greenspace. There are extensive trails around these areas providing ample opportunities for classes to focus on sustainability and experiential learning.

Off-Campus Learning Spaces

Outdoor Learning Spaces