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New SmartLab is Key to 21st Century Learning in Parochial Middle School

Written by Bill Laurienti

St. Athanasius is a private pre-K through 8th grade parochial school in Evanston, IL. Like many parochial schools across the country, they recognized the need for an expanded, modernized STEM education program for their students. 

“Prior to having the SmartLabs, our tech classes were limited to K–6, and our 7th and 8th graders were not learning things they needed to succeed,” said St. Athanasius Assistant Principal Mary Quish.

After extensive research, St. Athanasius chose SmartLab Learning to provide a STREAM program for elementary and middle school students to meet this critical educational need.

With the extensive learning resources in the SmartLab HQ, Mary Vitaioli, the schools 7–8 grade science teacher, said that the new technology has increased student interest in science and math. In addition she says that the project-based learning method in the SmartLab HQ is much more rewarding for students because it forces them to come up with solutions on their own, rather than relying on teacher assistance.

Learn more about how STEM education is helping St. Athanasius meet the 21st-century learning needs of their students in this article from The Daily Northwestern.

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.

Case Study

Going beyond STEM to teach essential skills

When the team at Jewell Houston Academy, a magnet school in Texas, looked for a STEM program, they wanted one that would not only engage students in STEM careers but could also teach conflict-resolution, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills.

Read about how the SmartLab HQ impacted both learners and enrollment.