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St. A’s dedicates new STEM lab

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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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