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Award-Winning Video: California Elementary School

Written by Bill Laurienti

Earlier this year we announced our first annual Learning Is Different Here™ contest. We received entries from schools across the country—thank you for submitting!

Our third-place award goes to California Elementary School in California, MO.

California Elementary School installed their SmartLab HQ in 2020, and their submission demonstrates how learners are actively engaged while in the space. As fourth-grader, Lydia, describes, students are learning essential critical-thinking skills and perseverance each day.

“At California Elementary School,” tells Principal Gary Baker, “we strive to create a solid foundation to ensure that our students will be college- and career-ready. To prepare the students in our community for their future, we had to pick up our game. The current workforce environment is ever-changing, which makes our job more challenging than ever before. We try to foster skills for jobs that our students will one day have, yet those jobs have not even been created.”

Students are continually engaged and are working on problem-solving skills and grit daily.

—Principal Gary Baker

Baker continues, “With the support of the SmartLab team and the awesome educational environment provided by our SmartLab Facilitator, Mrs. Osman, our students are cultivating the skills that they will need for the workforce of the future. Our SmartLab HQ Stem Center is the perfect blend of standards-aligned education with the skills needed to be successful for tomorrow. Students are continually engaged and are working on problem-solving skills and grit daily.”

Congratulations to the entire team at California Elementary School for sharing how learning truly is different in your SmartLab!

Bill Laurienti

Bill Laurienti is a Content Marketing Specialist at Creative Learning Systems. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education (English) from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching from the University of California's Rossier School of Education. Bill came to CLS after 10 years in the secondary classroom. He believes SmartLabs are important tools for engaging unengaged students and helping them access careers they might not otherwise have imagined.

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