Transforming School Culture Through STEM

A Colorado elementary school is undergoing a cultural revival after just a year of hands-on learning with a Creative Learning Systems SmartLab. 

“It’s incredible what you see, what you hear,” said Cherrelyn Elementary School Principal Eva Pasiewicz. “We have a different energy!”

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St. Joe’s Catholic School Featured in Center of Excellence Magazine

Catholic School Center of Excellence magazine’s cover story this month features SmartLab partner school St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Waconia, Minnesota. The article focuses on St. Joe’s innovative C-STEM initiative where student-directed, project-based STEM education is fully-integrated with traditional Catholic values and learning. According to school principal Bruce Richards, “Our mission is to inspire all learners to become the person God intends. We do this by integrating Catholic payers, virtues and service with 21st-century learning”.

Like many of our parochial school partners, St. Joe’s views STEM as critical for Catholic schools to remain educationally vital. We implemented the SmartLab at St. Joe’s one year ago and the St. Joe’s community has responded enthusiastically; enrollment is up for the first time in 10 years and 96% of St. Joe’s parent agreed that C-STEM had enhanced their child’s education.

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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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