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SmartLab Students Recognized by State Legislature for STEM Projects

Students from James Hart Middle School in Homewood District 153, were celebrated in the Illinois state capitol last week!

Students Aaron Latman, Jessica Lyseng and Ellie Wojcikowski, along with SmartLab Facilitator Cheri Pesina, were invited to present STEM projects at the Tech 2018 Illinois program. 

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Best Practices for Robotics STEM Activities in Kindergarten

SmartLab_stem_wedo-elementary-robotics.jpgWe wholeheartedly agree with this insightful article in eSchool News: 3 Reasons to Introduce Kindergartners to Robots.

“Children need to actually touch, manipulate, and experiment with objects in order to fully understand them. Robots bring this physical interaction to the potentially intimidating process of understanding engineering and programming.” 

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Building STEM Engagement through Video

Today’s learners live in a video world. They are active consumers, producers and critics of video content. How do we leverage this fact to deepen interest and understanding in STEM?

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Capstone STEM Project Presentations at Cresthill Middle School

Doug Haller, our Facilitator Support Specialist, recently had the pleasure of attending capstone presentations at Cresthill Middle School in Highlands Ranch, CO. Facilitator Trina Chambers invited parents and Creative Learning Systems staff to observe and provide constructive criticism to students on their final projects. Students shared the results of a two-week intensive study and enthusiastically answered questions that demonstrated their knowledge and experience in the SmartLab.

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Student Work Showcase from the Slater JHS STEM SmartLab!

A little over a year ago, I blogged about the Slater Jr. High School (Pawtucket, RI) SmartLab website.  Slater's Facilitator, John Martinelli, has now expanded the Weebly website with great examples of his student's work.  Check out all the engaging and diverse projects being explored by his learners! Read More

The Real World

We talk a lot about preparing learners for the “real world”.   Over the years, we’ve used terms like workforce readiness or 21st century skills, but it’s always been an important part of our job as educators, and it’s certainly a focus in the SmartLab.  Often, the best we can do in a classroom is simulate real world situations and challenges.  It’s a good start, but many educators strive to do more.

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Student Ammon Love's STEM Education Experience in the SmartLab

As I’ve said before in this blog, it's all about the kids!

My absolute favorite thing to do is drop in on a SmartLab and ask the students, “what’ja doing?”   The learners are so enthusiastic and their project ideas are usually WAY more interesting than anything we come up with when developing the curriculum.   It's also wonderful when a student tells me the SmartLab is their favorite place in school - but I don’t expect them to think about what goes into creating a learning environment like the SmartLab.  Their job is to learn.

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SmartLab - It's About the Kids

There is so much we want to talk about as we launch the Creative Learning Systems blog: learning philosophy, directions in STEM education, case studies, innovative technologies, politics, funding...  It’s a long, long list and it all matters.  But there was never any question that our first entry would be about the kids that inspire us.

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