By prioritizing equity in P-12 education, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) strives for a near future in which all Illinois communities are economically and socially secure. To achieve this vision by 2032, the ISBE has devised a strategic plan designed to support districts and schools as they:
Accelerate student learning
Improve learning conditions for all
Elevate educators with relevant training opportunities
In the classroom, meeting these goals can look like a number of things: a previously disengaged middle school student discovering wonder in robotics; an undersupported teacher finding new ways to spark excitement through technology; a college-bound senior connecting her career goals to a community water quality project.
SmartLab Learning is designed to serve entire school ecosystems by connecting core STEM concepts to real-life applications—in Illinois and beyond.
smartlab learning in Illinois
Ignite Possibilities Through STEM
The ISBE’s specific academic goals address student literacy, STEM concepts, and post-secondary readiness. They also provide a roadmap for Illinois schools as they develop their curricula and allocate federal, state, and private funding
SmartLab Learning aligns with the ISBE’s goals for school communities by supporting both the academic and social-emotional needs of all students and educators through collaborative programming and ongoing professional development.
Authentic Learning Engagements: Nearly every educator has heard it: “Why do we need to learn this?” In the SmartLab, students of all abilities grow to understand why and how core STEM concepts matter. | Learn More
Building 21st Century Skills: Essential life skills like critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, and time management are built into every SmartLab Learning engagement. | Learn More
Teaching the Whole Child: Students are more than their grades. Besides reinforcing core academic concepts, SmartLab Learning encourages and enables all students to connect their education to the world around them. | Learn More
Ongoing Facilitator Training: Educators and SmartLab facilitators are prepared to guide students through learning engagements on Day One, and can access resources and support whenever they need them. | Learn More
SmartLab STEM/STEAM Learning Solutions are in 70% or higher alignment with the following nationwide and state-specific standards:
New Illinois Learning Standards Incorporating the Common Core: Learners apply mathematical concepts to solve problems they can see and feel. | Learn More
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): In alignment with the NGSS’ new vision for science education, project-based SmartLab Learning engagements bring core science concepts to three-dimensional life. | Learn More
International Society for Technology in Education Standards: Empowered with access to innovative tools—and the agency to explore their applications—students grow into their roles as digital citizens. | Learn More
SmartLab Learning in Illinois
See which Illinois schools and districts have implemented SmartLab Learning solutions.
Discover Your Funding Options
The Creative Learning Systems team has helped public, private, rural, urban, large, and small schools secure funding.
ESSER for Public Schools
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
EANS for Private Schools
Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools
Discover organizations committed to equitable learning opportunities.
Funding Through Grants
See Available Grants
Maximize ESSER Funding to Engage Students
Learn what to prioritize when applying for ESSER funding.
“The statement ‘If you build it, they will come,’ proved to be 100% true. Since opening these amazing learning environments, we have expanded our offerings to before-school clubs, after-school competition teams, and STEM/STEAM-based summer camps for students inside and outside our learning community.”
Dr. Fred Laudadio
Executive Director of Learning and Technology
“I’ve never been so excited by anything we decided to do. It offers a whole new level of engagement.”