St. Athanasius School in Evanston held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today for its new science, technology, engineering and mathematics lab and learning center.

“We are fortunate to provide a dedicated space and curriculum for our students to build and practice skills they need in school and in life: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication,” Principal Carol McClay said..

Available in grades four to eight, the learning environment encourages teamwork.

“I really like the interactive and hands-on part of [the lab],” said St. Athanasius student Lulu Ward, an eighth grader. “I enjoy working with a partner, instead of independently, because you get to learn the other person’s ideas and see their view.”

Students will work together from a variety of areas including: alternative energy, circuitry, computer graphics, digital communications, mechanics and structure, robotics, scientific data and analysis and software engineering.

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty got an introduction to the STEM lab from students Sabrina Derwent, Nick Graczyk and Alex Vapensky.

Mary Quish, St. Athanasius vice principal and technology administrator, said the lab will “help us ensure that our students will be equipped with
the 21st century skills they will need to be successful.”

Students will be able to create electronic portfolios of their work and document their projects with digital photography and video.

The school established the laboratory in partnership with Colorado-based Creative Learning Systems, a STEM and digital communications specialist for elementary and middle schools.

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    1. I was told
      I was told it’s the only STEM lab in an elementary school in Evanston. And St. A”s didn’t beg voters for a $115 million tax hike.

      1. While I don’t wish to

        While I don’t wish to diminish what Saint A’s has accomplished, I do wish to address Al’s swipe at Evanston public schools who serve ALL students of all abilities and deficits, unlike private and charter schools who pick and choose and council or price out students who the district welcomes with open arms. Obviously Al is stuck on the referendum and not the mission of public schools.

        1. St. Athanasius serves
          St. Athanasius serves children of all abilities and deficits as well. We do not pick and choose our students, we open our doors to all and serve in the name of God to the best of our ability. We educate the whole child and live as a family not a learning institution.

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