“We’re trying to teach kids to think creatively and problem solve, as well as using 21st century skills”
Bill Welling, Chief Academic Officer – School City of Mishawaka
To support Bill Welling's goals, a regional bank, Teacher’s Credit Union (TCU), has agreed to pay $30,000 per year for exclusive naming rights to the new SmartLab at John Young Middle School in Mishawaka Indiana. The TCU Innovation Lab at John Young Middle School officially opened with the start of school on August 14th.
This SmartLab is an impressive 4,500sq ft facility accommodating up to 72 middle school students at a time. Learners all have access to programs and technologies related to circuitry, digital communications, robotics and control technology, scientific data and analysis, sustainability, and software engineering. After learning about a technology the student begins a project and documents the problems and triumphs as it progresses, then presents the completed project to fellow classmates. The failures and successes are equally important in the SmartLab.
In addition to the SmartLab (STEM center) the John Young SmartLab includes a Creative Learning Systems student broadcast studio so students can create videos and streaming broadcasts using the same technology and equipment that's used in the industry.
The South Bend Tribune reports that students are so excited about the new facility, they even came to school during summer break to try out the some of the new learning resources!
How do you engage your students in STEM education? Comment below!