12 Inventions Created by Mistake

At Diversified Spaces, we’re all about hands-on learning. From whipping up a cake in FACE class, building a wood bench in the workshop or conducting science experiments in the lab, it’s important to encourage students to think like an inventor, and experiment and try new things – even if they make mistakes! After all, many life-changing inventions were accidentally created by everyday people. Just take a look at some of our favorites:

1. The Slinky

Who knew the slinky was accidentally invented by a naval engineer? (We definitely didn’t!). The idea came to naval engineer Richard James while he was trying to develop a spring that would support and stabilize sensitive equipment on ships. While he was working on his project, one of the springs fell off a shelf and kept moving. As James watched the spring continue to move, a light bulb went off in his head. After he decided it would make a great toy and his wife came up with the name, the Slinky was first sold in late 1945. 

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Could you imagine a world without chocolate chip cookies? Us either. Luckily, we can all thank Ruth Graves Wakefield, co-owner of the Toll House Inn, when she decided to bake some chocolate cookies for her guests. To make the cookies chocolate, Wakefield decided to chop up a block of semi-sweet chocolate from Nestle, hoping that the chunks of chocolate would melt and spread evenly. Instead of spreading evenly as she had hoped, out came what are now known as chocolate chip cookies! 

3. Microwave Oven

If it wasn’t for a candy bar melting in Percy Spencer’s pocket in 1945, the microwave oven may have never been invented! An engineer at Raytheon, Spencer was experimenting with a radar-related vacuum tube when he noticed the candy bar was melting in his pocket. Using his newfound knowledge, he later patented the microwave. 

4. Potato Chips

Crispy, salty and savory … what more could you want in a snack? Thanks to a New York restaurant customer complaining about the fried potatoes being too soggy and thick, Chef George Crum got so upset that he cut the potatoes into extremely thin slices, fried them and then sprinkled on some salt. I bet Crum would have never thought in a million years that he would invent one of the world’s most popular snacks – potato chips! 

5. Post-It Notes

Spencer Silver, a chemist for 3M, failed to make heavy-duty adhesive for the aerospace industry. The only thing he could make was a temporary adhesive, not strong enough to hold much weight. Low and behold, the temporary adhesive was good for something – holding bookmarks in place! Thus, removable notes were born, now known as Post-it notes. 

6. X-Rays

Did you know? X-rays were accidentally invented after trying to create lightbulbs. (Who knew?) In 1895, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was trying to create lightbulbs by experimenting with cathode-ray tubes. But then he noticed something interesting: when the cathode tubes were placed inside a cardboard box, they continued to emit light even though the cardboard should have stopped it. He then realized that the tubes were not only emitting light, but were also passing invisible rays that could penetrate solid matter. Soon after human experiments proved successful, X-rays became available in the medical field to check for broken bones. 

7. Penicillin

It's sometimes good to be messy – just ask scientist Alexander Fleming! In 1928, he left his lab a mess, including leaving petri dishes with bacteria in them, because he was in a rush to go on vacation. When he got back from vacation two weeks later, some of the petri dishes that he hadn't cleaned were moldy. But while he was cleaning the mold off the dishes, he noticed the bacteria had been killed. After studying the mold, he saw that one particular substance, penicillin, was responsible for getting rid of the mold. Since then, penicillin has been used to save millions of people!

8. Matches

Stirring a pot of chemicals in 1826, John Walker pulled his wooden stir stick out of the pot and tried to wipe the glob of chemicals stuck on the table. Instead of wiping off, the chemicals ignited. As a result, matches were born! 

9. Safety Glass

While working in the lab in 1903, French chemist Edouard Benedictus dropped a glass flask. Instead of shattering into a million pieces, it surprisingly shattered but didn’t fall apart. Later, he discovered that the flask had recently been filled with cellulose nitrate, which provided a protective layer. Today, safety glass is used in many applications using a similar solution to the cellulose nitrate to make it shatterproof.

10. Super Glue

During World War II, Harry Coover, a chemist for Eastman Kodak, was tasked with creating a suitable plastic for gun sights. Instead of succeeding with his task, he instead accidentally created cyanoacrylate, now known as superglue. But its potential wasn’t realized until almost nine years later when Coover was working to develop heat-resistant polymers for jet planes. Believe it or not, cyanoacrylate was the perfect solution!

11. Implantable Pacemaker

In the late 1950s, Wilson Greatbatch grabbed the wrong type of resistor out of a box while trying to build an oscillator to record the heartbeat sounds of animals. When he turned it on, he noticed that it produced a signal that mimicked the human heartbeat. As a result, the implantable pacemaker was created!

12. Velcro

While Swiss engineer George de Mestral was hiking with his dog, he noticed little burrs sticking to both his pants and dog. After looking at the burrs a little more closely, he noticed there were small hooks on the burrs that would cling to anything that was loop-shaped. With this new discovery, Mestral recognized the potential for a practical new fastener – now known as Velcro! 

Diversified Spaces Announces Retirement of National Sales Manager Julie Ryno

Suring, WI – Diversified Spaces announced today that National Sales Manager Julie Ryno is retiring on Jan 3., 2022, after a successful 23-year career with the company. 

Over the last two decades, Ryno played an instrumental role in transforming Diversified into the thriving company it is today. 

“Julie really took Diversified to the next level in building the transactional side of our business,” said Glenn Gustke, regional sales manager. “Her kindness, tireless work ethic and honesty have resulted in Julie being one of the most respected people in our industry. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with her and wish her the very best as she enters retirement.”

“Julie started as my boss and then became my colleague, but most importantly, I gained a valued friendship,” said Kelly Fisher, marketing and brand manager. “She led by example, and her quiet leadership earned respect from everyone within Diversified and the industry. I will be sad to see her leave, but I’m excited to see what her next chapter entails.”

Her honesty, commitment and passion will forever be ingrained in Diversified’s core values. 

“I’m grateful for my time at Diversified and the opportunities it has provided for my family and me,” said Ryno. “I always said that it’s easy to sell Diversified because I had a great organization behind me and while I got to accept the award, it’s the people in the plant and office that earned them. Our independent manufacturers reps have also done a tremendous job representing our company in a knowledgeable and professional way. There are a lot of people around me who have contributed to any success I may have had!”

Hired in September, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Franta will assume the role of Ryno upon her retirement. Regional Sales Manager Glenn Gustke will continue to help lead Diversified Spaces.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Tom at tfranta@diversifiedspaces.com or Glenn at ggustke@diversifiedspaces.com.

About Diversified Spaces

Diversified Spaces does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators inspire today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Spaces has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes, and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards. They also feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Spaces.

Julie Ryno’s Top Five Accomplishments at Diversified

One of the best things that has ever happened to Diversified was the addition of Julie Ryno. Without her, Diversified wouldn’t be as successful as it is today. While Julie has had many accomplishments throughout her career, we’d like to share with you some of our favorites: 

1. Tradeshow Success

Back in 1999, Diversified attended its first School Equipment Show (now EDspaces) in Denver, CO. Unlike most recent shows where we are booked back to back with meetings, this show was a little different. How? Well, we had almost no customers attending and were also an unknown manufacturer at the time. But, leave it to Julie to save the day! She took the list of attendees and took action. She sent invitations as well as made personal phone calls to several attendees encouraging them to visit our booth. Thanks to Julie and her efforts, the show really helped us launch Diversified. 

2. Honesty

It’s really easy to tell the truth when something good happens, but not the easiest when it’s bad. Fortunately, Diversified has had good service years. But there have been instances when we’ve had bad news. Instead of playing the bad news down, Julie has always stressed we tell the truth. Her ongoing philosophy throughout the years is one of the main reasons why Diversified is held in such high esteem.

3. Pandemic Reaction

We’re really proud of many of our team members, including Julie, on the actions they took during the pandemic. Instead of focusing on the negative, Julie and others took the opportunity to give in-depth training to our reps. (Even our reps will tell you that we were the exception in how we handled COVID and our relationship with them.) Because of this, we have the best-trained reps in the industry and it will pay dividends for years to come! 

4. Virtual Tours

Another COVID highlight was when we started our showroom tours! Of course, Julie was an integral part of their overall success. Instead of presentation slide decks when EDspaces when virtual, we went “live in our showroom.” The meetings we had were so successful, we started scheduling showroom tours via Zoom. Since the fall of 2020, we have done about 160 showroom tours! 

5. Passion & Commitment

One accomplishment that really stands out (especially for Julie), is her passion and commitment to making a difference in children’s lives. 

“Between the Council for Art Education, the Hands-On Science Partnership and the EDmarket Association, I have advocated for children as well as our industry, and I’m proud of that,” Julie said. “I’ve been fortunate to make many friends through those organizations and I’m grateful for their appreciation.”

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a rare gem like Julie but we’re extremely thankful that we got to share the last 23 years with her. Congrats on retirement and we can’t wait to see what adventures await you!

Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Franta will assume the role of Ryno upon her retirement. Regional Sales Manager Glenn Gustke will continue to help lead Diversified Spaces.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Tom at tfranta@diversifiedspaces.com or Glenn at ggustke@diversifiedspaces.com 

Here are some well wishes from the Diversified team: 

“Julie is an amazing lady! Having worked together for 20+ years, we’ve definitely experienced a lot of changes together. But she has always put a positive spin on them! As a Diversified family member, she will be greatly missed.” – Jackie


“It has been a pleasure working with Julie throughout her career at Diversified. Wishing Julie a well-earned and happy retirement. I thank her for her dedication to the team, to the product and to the industry as a whole. Congratulations and best of luck!” – Greg 


“Julie started as my boss and then became my colleague, but most importantly, I gained a valued friendship. She’s been an invaluable mentor to me for the past thirteen years. She is the ultimate team player—no task was ever too small. She led by example, and her quiet leadership earned respect from everyone within Diversified and the industry. I will be sad to see her leave, but I am excited to see what her next chapter entails. Here’s to wishing her a well-deserved retirement with hiking, camping, and no spreadsheets!” – Kelly


“I’ve known Julie for approximately 18 years and worked with her for just over two years. She really took Diversified to the next level in building the transactional side of our business. Her kindness, tireless work ethic and honesty have resulted in Julie being one of the most respected people in our industry. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with her the past two years. She has been great to work with and a lot of fun! I wish her the very best as she enters retirement.” – Glenn


I have had the pleasure of working with Julie for many years. Throughout that time, I’ve grown to respect her tremendously! The care and consideration she has for Diversified is incredible and well-noticed by all. I will miss working with her and wish her a very happy retirement! – Becky

Diversified Spaces Welcomes Tom Franta as Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Suring, WI — Diversified Spaces is excited to announce the addition of Tom Franta as vice president of sales and marketing. Franta will assume the role of National Sales and Marketing Manager Julie Ryno upon her retirement in January 2022, managing all aspects of the transactional side of the business.

“I have always admired Diversified for their quality, innovation and being one of the most respected furniture suppliers in the education industry,” said Franta. “I look forward to learning the Diversified way from industry legend Julie Ryno.”

Franta joins Diversified Spaces with extensive industry experience. Prior to joining the company, he worked in leadership roles at Jonti-Craft, Children’s Factory and Stevens Industries.

"I look forward to building on Diversified Spaces' excellent reputation, and responding to market trends and needs by helping introduce new furniture solutions," said Franta. 

About Diversified Spaces

Diversified Spaces does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators inspire today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Spaces has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes, and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards. They also feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Spaces.

Diversified Woodcrafts Promotes Greg McClure to Vice President of Operations

Suring, WI Diversified Woodcrafts (DWI) is thrilled to announce the promotion of Greg McClure to vice president of operations. In his enhanced role, McClure will be responsible for all DWI facilities and manufacturing operations. 

“Greg’s 34 years of experience, leadership and knowledge will be instrumental in achieving operational excellence at Diversified Woodcrafts,” said David Jahnke, president of DWI.

McClure has held several positions with Diversified Woodcrafts, including manufacturing roles, supervisor of material processing for seven years, and most recently, plant manager for 17 years. 

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? Many of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts.

Diversified Woodcrafts Hires Manager of Product Development Matthew Oberg

Suring, WI Diversified Woodcrafts is pleased to welcome Matthew Oberg as the manager of product development. Oberg will be responsible for managing company product lines over the life of the product from concept through development, sale launch and discontinuance. 

Before joining the team at Diversified Woodcrafts, Oberg worked at Summit Bodyworks as a wood shop manager and vehicle designer engineer from 2015–2021. Prior to that, he was a custom millwork designer/fabricator at EliSon’s Workshop from 2013–2015. 

“Even at a young age, I had a natural and profound appreciation for architecture and the design of space,” said Oberg. “Coupling this passion with the opportunity to design at Diversified Woodcrafts gives me a great sense of fulfillment.”

Oberg has also won several awards including first place for Urban Bicycle Pedal Design at the 2010 VP Components Design Competition and the Patriotic Employer Award for Support of the Guard and Reserve in 2018. In 2019, he was also the Featured Design and Interior Upfit on GEARZ in the Stacey David TV Program.

“Today’s classrooms, workspaces and public settings are undergoing a very broad and dynamic shift in how they function,” said Oberg. “I aspire to help Diversified Woodcrafts in continuing to deliver market-leading solutions through careful and thoughtful product design with respect to the changes of the modern world.” 

Oberg has a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? Many of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts.

3 Things To Do Immediately After Product Delivery

At Diversified Spaces, we do our best to ensure our products are delivered to you in perfect condition. But once in a while, you may receive damaged or missing items. That’s why we strongly urge you to do the following IMMEDIATELY after delivery: 

  1. Inspect all cartons for visible damage and open to inspect for concealed damage.
  2. Count the number of pieces you received. 
  3. Check for any damage or discrepancies on the carrier’s delivery order. Important: shipping damage must be reported within five days of delivery.

If there is any visible damage, it is your responsibility to immediately notify the carrier by notating this on the delivery receipt prior to the driver leaving your facility. 

As a reminder, you will receive the following inspection label when your products are delivered: 

quality product inspection label

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us

Score FREE Hand Sanitizer Sets!

Classes are back in session! This means it’s time for schools to stock up on hand sanitizer to help stop the spread of COVID and other germs. 

In fact, the CDC recommends placing hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol near frequently touched surfaces including (but not limited to): 

  • Water fountains or bubblers
  • Doors
  • Shared equipment
  • Cafeterias
  • Classrooms
  • Gymnasiums

That’s why you should take advantage of our BOGO deal: Buy 13 hand sanitizer sets, get 2 free! Or, buy 24, get 5 free! Get the product details. 

hand sanitizer sets

Email us at info@diversifiedspaces.com or reach out using our contact form for all quantity discounts!

Diversified Woodcrafts Promotes Becky Haave to Engineering Manager

Suring, WI Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. (DWI) is pleased to announce the promotion of Becky Haave to engineering manager. 

“We have been fortunate to have Becky at Diversified Woodcrafts for 26 years, the past two of which she has served as engineering supervisor,” said Dave Jahnke, president of DWI. “With continued growth at DWI, we look forward to the leadership, knowledge and experience Becky brings to her new role.”

As the engineering manager, Haave will continue to lead and manage the overall activities of the engineering department. 

About Diversified Woodcrafts

We do more than build educational furniture and casework. We create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, we have them covered. We also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of our products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose us.

Our Casework Brands Unite

Suring, WI — Diversified Casework and Sheldon Labs (Diversified Woodcrafts’ casework brands), leading providers of laboratory casework solutions with over 160 years of operational excellence, are joining forces. Moving forward, they will be known as Diversified Casework. They will continue to promote and innovate Sheldon Labs’ industry-leading products, such as the Axis Infinity and TEII Series, along with incorporating the flexibility of Diversified Casework’s modern manufacturing facility. Diversified Casework will provide a complete offering of laboratory-grade casework, science furniture, and equipment, creating a unified, stronger presence in the laboratory marketplace.

“This consolidation will provide the market with the largest manufacturer of wood laboratory casework in the United States, focused on providing the highest level of service combined with premium quality products for the next one hundred years,” said Dave Jahnke, president of Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. 

Diversified Casework will remain focused on providing the highest levels of responsive service, innovation, and quality that is the foundation on which it was built.

For more information, please email them at info@diversifiedcasework.com.

About Diversified Casework
Lab planners and architects know that Diversified Casework can provide the options and customization needed to create laboratories that matter. From earth-friendly finishes to their curated selection of laboratory casework, science furniture, and equipment, as well as Sheldon Labs series products, they exceed the needs of today’s modern university laboratories and research facilities. With ingenuity, quality craftsmanship, and skilled workers, they continue to grow and establish themselves as industry leaders. Diversified Casework stays a step ahead and pride themselves in producing quality science, research, and lab products complete, correct, and on time – every time.

How Schools Can Use Their American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER Funds

Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Congress has provided financial support for districts and schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds.

These funds are designed to help schools reopen quickly and safely while simultaneously addressing the months of significant learning loss.

While you can use these funds for a variety of different initiatives that help address learning loss, here are our top recommendations on how to spend the money: 

  • Offer evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs including: 
    • STEM or STEAM camps/programs (SOURCE, SOURCE)
    • Focus on specialized programs – curriculum (SOURCE)
    • New curriculum development (SOURCE)
  • Support students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs by:
    • Initiating clubs such as a robotic or STEM club (SOURCE)
  • Furniture to provide students with their own spaces, which meets federal requirements to aid reopening and helps students learn more effectively. (SOURCE, SOURCE)
  • Social/emotional learning
    • Create spaces and resources that address students’ social and emotional intelligence and coping skills (SOURCE)
  • Hands-on STEAM resources
    • Maker spaces, durable science equipment, and activities promote learning by trying, doing, failing, and trying again (SOURCE)
  • Flexible learning environments
    • Outdoor classrooms can be created and deconstructed in moments (SOURCE)
  • Accommodate diverse learning styles
    • Think modular furniture that can support individual or group work, and kinesthetic movement for students who think best when they aren’t sitting still (SOURCE)
  • Cleaning supplies (SOURCE)
  • Education technology like computers and upgrading internet services (SOURCE)
  • Mental health services (SOURCE)
  • School building improvements that “reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards” (SOURCE)

Keep in mind that districts must use at least 20% of the money to address learning loss. 

Interested in learning about other ways you can spend ESSER funds? View the full list of allowable uses on the American Rescue Plan Act Fact Sheet

Not sure where to start? Contact us today to let us help you create healthier and safer learning spaces. 

Diversified Woodcrafts Announces Brand Refresh, Changes Name to Diversified Spaces

Suring, WI — Diversified Woodcrafts, an industry-leading manufacturer of educational furniture and casework, has announced today that the company will begin operating under a new name known as Diversified Spaces. As part of the name change, Diversified Spaces has released a new company logo. As we roll out the new branding, the official launch will be in November at the EdSpaces Show. 

This brand refresh reflects both the evolution of the company as well as its vision for the future. While wood furniture was the company’s core business, Diversified Spaces has continued to expand its material offerings for products. 

“In the ever-evolving educational furniture market, where innovation and optimal classroom solutions are needed, our brand needs to align with the incorporation of other materials within our product line. The refresh of our brand name is just the start of what we envision for the future of skilled educational spaces,” said Glenn Gustke, regional sales manager of Diversified Woodcrafts. 

The new company name aligns with their overall goal: creating innovative MakerSpace, Robotics, and STEAM learning spaces to empower today’s learners. Although the name has changed, clients, dealers, and reps will find no change in the quality of products, service, and conducting business with the new business identity. 

About Diversified Spaces

Diversified Spaces does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators inspire today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Spaces has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes, and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards. They also feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Spaces.

Diversified Woodcrafts & Sheldon Labs Appoint VP of Corporate Purchasing

Suring, WI — Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. (DWI) is excited to announce the appointment of Jimmy Gaskin to vice president of corporate purchasing.

As the vice president of corporate purchasing, Gaskin will manage all purchasing and supply chain activity within the DWI facility in Suring, WI and the Sheldon Labs facility in Crystal Springs, MS. 

Gaskin is currently the general manager of Sheldon Labs and will continue to maintain this role alongside his new position. 

“We look forward to the leadership, knowledge and experience Jimmy brings to his new role,” said Dave Jahnke, president of DWI.

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts. 

About Sheldon Laboratory Systems

When it's time for education to meet science furnishings, Sheldon has a plan. In fact, several, & they’re refining them every day to meet the ever-changing demands of science education. For architects, construction managers, administrators and especially teachers, Sheldon believes in practical solutions to a variety of issues. Their passion is to help teachers train students in a safe, innovative and quality lab space to become the next generation of leaders in science and medicine while meeting the architectural goals of the building. Sheldon is proud of their heritage and stands firm on the foundations of the company – quality, service, and innovation. They are providing a service for science teachers of tomorrow, and this is their driving force.

4 Colors That Affect Classroom Learning

It’s fun to decorate in color – especially when it comes to the classroom. But whether you believe it or not, colors aren’t just for looks. Colors actually can affect us emotionally and psychologically, and even have an impact on productivity and classroom learning. Just take a look at how you can use some colors to create a positive experience in the classroom for students: 

1. Green

Imagine you’re taking a long hike in the middle of a green and luscious forest. How do you feel? While you may feel a bit tired (Who doesn’t after a hike? ), you’re also probably feeling pretty relaxed and calm. What gives? Well, low wavelength colors (like green) actually promote a sense of harmony. That’s why using a little bit of green in the classroom may help relieve stress and improve concentration. Studies show that it can even reduce a person’s heart rate, leading to a positive impact on classroom learning. 

lime color swatch

2. Blue

Just like green, blue also promotes a calm and relaxing atmosphere. It can even lower blood pressure and body temperature. This results in a boost in productivity – especially for classroom learning that requires a high cognitive load.

aqua color swatch

3. Orange 

Looking to add a splash of excitement to the classroom? Orange is the way to go. While painting all of your walls orange will be too overstimulating, adding orange accent furniture or decor will give students a boost in creativity, inspiration and overall mood. 

carrot color swatch

4. Red

Red can also have a positive affect on classroom learning – as long as it isn’t overused. If your students are lacking imagination and inspiration, try adding red accents throughout your learning space. Because red is also a warm color like orange, it will help boost creativity, alertness and excitement! 

red color swatch

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, you need to be purposeful about the colors you choose for your learning space. Taking the time to think about how color affects classroom learning will help you create a positive environment for your students. 

Need help choosing colors for your learning space? We have many pieces of furniture that come in a variety of styles and colors. Contact us today to get started! 

Diversified Woodcrafts and Sheldon Labs Name New President

Suring, WI — Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. (DWI) is honored to welcome back Dave Jahnke as president of DWI and Sheldon Laboratory Systems. He was previously employed at DWI from 1984 to 2017, and was president from 1997 to 2017. 

“I’m excited to be back at Diversified Woodcrafts and Sheldon Laboratory Systems,” said Jahnke. “I look forward to strategically growing the company into new markets and opportunities.”

Prior to Jahnke’s re-employment, he worked at Kewaunee Scientific Corp. for 18 months. He was first hired as their director where he was responsible for updating the wood plant manufacturing facility. After updating the facility, his role then transitioned to general manager of wood and laminate products. 

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts. 

About Sheldon Laboratory Systems

When it's time for education to meet science furnishings, Sheldon has a plan. In fact, several, & they’re refining them every day to meet the ever-changing demands of science education. For architects, construction managers, administrators and especially teachers, Sheldon believes in practical solutions to a variety of issues. Their passion is to help teachers train students in a safe, innovative and quality lab space to become the next generation of leaders in science and medicine while meeting the architectural goals of the building. Sheldon is proud of their heritage and stands firm on the foundations of the company – quality, service, and innovation. They are providing a service for science teachers of tomorrow, and this is their driving force.

Diversified Woodcrafts Welcomes Content Marketing Specialist

Suring, WI — Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. (DWI) an industry-leading manufacturer of educational furniture and casework, is proud to announce and welcome Ciara Powell as the content marketing specialist, a newly created position at the company. 

Powell will be responsible for developing and executing a successful content marketing strategy through all social media outlets, writing optimized website copy, company articles and emails, and creating and managing an annual content editorial calendar for all brands — including Diversified Woodcrafts, Diversified Casework, Sheldon Labs and OC River. 

"Ciara is a welcome addition to Diversified Woodcrafts and Sheldon Labs,” said Kelly Fisher, Marketing and Brand Manager. “She brings invaluable agency experience in the B2B market and incorporates curiosity, smarts, and initiative to elevate our social content to the next level."

Powell joins Diversified Woodcrafts with 3+ years of experience in the marketing field. Prior to joining the company, she was the digital storyteller at Envano, where she contributed to multiple content marketing projects for B2C and B2B brands. 

Before that, she held several internships throughout college — including a marketing internship at Writing by Design and a web content internship at Rogan’s Shoes – that contributed to her expertise in the field. Powell has a bachelor’s degree in interactive web management from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

“Joining the team at Diversified has been an exciting opportunity for me,” said Powell. “I’m eager to dive right in and help the company continue to lead in the educational furniture space by developing a strong content marketing strategy for each brand.”

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts. 

Diversified Woodcrafts Hires New Human Resource Manager

Suring, WI — Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc. (DWI) welcomes Nicole Hartlaben as the human resource manager. Hartlaben was previously the plant HR manager at Creative Converting and brings 10 years of experience to Diversified Woodcrafts. 

As the human resource manager, Hartlaben will lead, develop policies, and direct and coordinate human resource activities including employment, compensation, labor relations, benefits and more. 

“I’m really excited to join the team at Diversified Woodcrafts,” said Hartlaben. “I hope to make positive impacts on the employee experience and support the goals of the organization.”

Prior to Creative Converting, she worked at Delaware North Sportservice as the payroll/HR assistant from 2012–2013 and then was the HR manager from 2015–2018. In between those two roles, she held the position of HR generalist at KI.

About Diversified Woodcrafts

Diversified Woodcrafts does more than build educational furniture and casework. They create innovative spaces for schools and colleges to help educators empower today’s learners. Whether a school needs a collaborative space for young scientists to experiment or an area for artists to create, Diversified Woodcrafts has them covered. They also have the perfect combination of sizes, colors, finishes and materials to give classrooms a fresh and modern look. The best part? All of their products are manufactured to tough SEFA standards and feature an earth-friendly, chemical-resistant UV finish—so schools know they’re getting top-quality furnishings when they choose Diversified Woodcrafts. 

Material Demand

We are excited to see schools reopening, but we are now navigating through unprecedented times of material shortages and allocation limits.

Diversified Woodcrafts has routinely stocked higher inventory levels of our most popular products and materials to build those products to keep up with summer demand. As seen industry-wide, we are all now navigating through unprecedented material cost increases and are now faced with a new challenge—raw material to build the products. This material now has dramatically extended lead times and is limited on the amounts of materials we are able to buy. A few examples of our suppliers typical and current lead times are:

Plywood: Typically, 4-6 weeks-now 12-14 weeks with limitations on quantities
Hardware: Typically, 2-3 weeks-now 4-6 weeks
Epoxy Work Surfaces: Typically, 4 weeks-now 13 weeks
Steel Products: Typically, 4 weeks-now 6-7 weeks
Plastic Products: Typically, 3-4 weeks-now 8 weeks

We ask for your understanding as we work with our suppliers to procure our necessary materials as quickly as we can. Our typical summer lead times are 5-6 weeks, we will do our best to maintain the shortest lead times possible, but you can expect lead times to stretch out during the busy months. We understand that the material shortages mean some schools will not have their product when school starts. We are doing our best to get materials in. Please contact us with any questions.

Contact us for more information.

Join Us in Welcoming Brant Kelly

Sheldon Labs and Diversified Casework are pleased to announce the return of Brant Kelly, as the leader of our casework sales team in the position of Vice President of Sales, Casework. He is a welcome addition to our team with over 14 years of experience at Diversified Casework, along with a wealth of industry knowledge. He is currently Co-Chairman of the SEFA Wood Casework Committee; and recently held a position with Trespa International, where he was a Region Manager, North America. Previously he managed a national account at Kewaunee Scientific.

Brant is excited to be back at Diversified Casework and Sheldon Labs – and will work directly with the Regional Sales Manager team to support the national network of casework dealers. In this ever-changing market, Brant's key insight will be invaluable as we move forward in 2021.

About Sheldon Laboratory Systems
When it's time for education to meet science furnishings, Sheldon has a plan. In fact, several, & they’re refining them every day to meet the ever-changing demands of science education. For architects, construction managers, administrators and especially teachers, Sheldon believes in practical solutions to a variety of issues. Their passion is to help teachers train students in a safe, innovative and quality lab space to become the next generation of leaders in science and medicine while meeting the architectural goals of the building. Sheldon is proud of their heritage and stands firm on the foundations of the company – quality, service, and innovation. They are providing a service for science teachers of tomorrow, and this is their driving force.

About Diversified Casework
Lab planners and architects know that Diversified Casework can provide the options and customization needed to create laboratories that are the perfect combination of form and function. From earth-friendly finish to our durable construction, they exceed the needs of today's modern university laboratories and research facilities. With ingenuity, quality craftsmanship and skilled workers, Diversified Casework continues to grow and establish themselves as an industry leader. Their current state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is now over 100,000 square feet. Diversified Casework stays a step ahead ... and pride themselves with producing quality science, research and lab products on-time.

SEFA. Quality at a Glance.

SEFA-The Mark of Excellence

SEFA was founded in 1988 to provide guidance in promoting quality and safety in the design, manufacture and utilization of laboratory furniture and equipment. For student scientists and laboratory researchers, using laboratory casework with SEFA certification means that it has passed numerous rigorous tests aimed at ensuring safety as well as providing enhanced durability and structural integrity.

For example, if you’re wondering whether door hinges of a base cabinet can withstand being opened and closed hundreds of times, having SEFA compliance says yes.

Scientifically Proven Quality

Earning SEFA certification is voluntary--and not every manufacturer of scientific laboratory equipment is capable of earning it. Those that do are manufacturing companies that have gone above and beyond to give their clients exceptional lab furniture that is made to last. SEFA certification is a time-consuming process, but one that companies like Diversified Woodcrafts believe is well worth the investment.

To Test the Best

SEFA contracts with independent testing facilities across the country. After a manufacturer selects a testing facility, each item seeking certification is run through a battery of tests that include mechanical resistance tests, impact tests, and surface finish tests.

The list of tests performed is long, and the testing criteria, impressive:

  • Cabinet load test – evaluates the strength and structural integrity of a cabinet
  • Cabinet concentrated load test – checks how cabinet drawers and doors perform when a heavy load is placed in the center of the cabinet
  • Cabinet torsion – evaluates the structural integrity of the cabinet construction when subjected to the stress of a torsional load
  • Cabinet submersion test – certifies that the cabinet can resist standing water
  • Door hinge test – tests the strength of the door hinge and its hardware
  • Door impact test – demonstrates resistance to excessive impact to the door face
  • Door cycle test – checks the strength of the door hinge hardware over many cycles of use
  • Drawer static load test – indicates that an open drawer can withstand up to 150 pounds of downward pressure
  • Drawer and door pull test – tests the strength of the pull and the pull hardware
  • Drawer impact test – proves the drawer can withstand the impact of heavy items being dropped into it
  • Drawer internal rolling impact – evaluates the strength of the drawer head, bottom and back
  • Drawer cycle test – evaluates the performance of a drawer over years of use
  • Shelving – shows the ability of a shelf and mounting hardware to support normal laboratory loads
  • Wall cabinet loading test – demonstrates the strength of the back of the wall cabinet, the joinery of the cabinet, and function of the doors
  • Table test – showcases the structural integrity of the table construction when subjected to a racking load

Going Above and Beyond

Companies like Diversified Woodcrafts know that achieving SEFA certification for its products is the gold standard for the scientific laboratory furniture industry. It is proud to SEFA compliant.

When it comes time to purchase scientific laboratory furniture for the classroom or a research facility, the first question to ask is, “Is it SEFA compliant?” Getting an affirmative answer is paramount to be able to equip your lab with the highest quality products on the market, as well as to be able to protect your most precious investment--your scientists and researchers.

Contact us for more information.