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Rising to the Challenge

Written by Bill Laurienti

The learners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) in Chattanooga, TN started the new school year with a brand new SmartLab HQ.

OLPH’s mission is to enable students to become confident, lifelong learners, and with SmartLab Learning’s unique project-based STEM learning environments, they’re well on the way to reaching their mission.

In a SmartLab HQ, learners are engaged in hands-on, experiential learning where they work in teams to solve problems that include circuitry, software engineering, robotics, and other projects.

Because students can explore topics of personal interest, they can rise to the challenge.

Teresa Hale, SmartLab Facilitator

“It’s a challenging learning experience,” explains SmartLab Facilitator Teresa Hale, “but because students can explore topics of personal interest, they can rise to the challenge.”

“In addition to working with leading-edge technology, students in the SmartLab HQ develop critical skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, project management, and communications,” explains Principal Dr. Caroline Carlin.

The new SmartLab at OLPH is the first in the Chattanooga area. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church Pastor, Father Arthur Torres, added: “I know our students will be excited by the new SmartLab. Our community should certainly be proud of this new learning resource.”

Again, congratulations to all of you at OLPH. We are confident that the SmartLab HQ will be another environment where your students are empowered to reach their personal potential and instill a passion for lifelong learning.

Transforming the library into a collaborative learning space.

Read more about the ribbon-cutting event.

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.