SAGE Center to Be Site of New STEAM-Related Classroom


The Port of Morrow’s Sustainable Agriculture and Energy (SAGE) Center in Boardman – otherwise known as the SAGE Center – has been selected as the site of a new AWS Think Big Space.

The new K-6 classroom and school visitation program is funded by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and will be overseen by the Morrow County School District. An AWS Think Big Space is an enhanced classroom for students to explore and cultivate science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM)-related interests with labs that encourage a hands-on approach where students think big to solve real-world problems.

The collaboration brings together regional partners that include early childhood education, post-secondary schools, and community sponsors.

The AWS Think Big Space serves as an ‘educational incubator’ utilizing cloud computing, AWS technology, and Amazon’s Leadership Principles. Students and teachers are encouraged to “Think Big” as they explore cloud computing to solve problems using creativity and imagination.

The AWS Think Big Space is an integrated environment where everything from the furniture, technology, and curriculum work together to support interactive hands-on learning. The space prioritizes personalized learning to engage students of all ages, interests, and abilities.

Morrow County School District is hiring an instructional lead that will oversee the new space. The Instructional Lead will implement a practice of self-directed learning.

“We know students thrive when they have an environment that supports creative learning and innovation,” said Morrow County School District Superintendent Dirk Dirksen. “We are grateful to have partners like AWS and The Port of Morrow who share the same vision. This is a great opportunity for Morrow County students.”

AWS selected the SAGE Center as the first AWS Think Big Space on the West Coast. Ryan Neal, executive director at the Port of Morrow, is looking forward to expanding opportunities for students.

“This partnership is an investment in our youth and their future,” he said. “We see the AWS Think Big Space as a catalyst for supporting students as they develop new solutions and ideas that will make our world a better place.”

Construction is underway at the SAGE Center where the new AWS Think Big Space will be located. It is expected to open in late 2021.

The AWS Think Big Space was named after one of Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles which states, “Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.”