BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - These pupils are singing the periodic table and also the praises of their new STEM lab.
“Really, this room is set up to allow teachers to do whatever they can come up with, they can do with this room,” says Principal Skip Birdsong.
St. Teresa Catholic School in Belleville will have their formal dedication for their new stem lab this Sunday. The Catholic school that serves kindergarten through eighth grades is opening its quarter of a million dollar hands-on learning center thanks to generous donations.
“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it’s so important these days and a lot of jobs are based off of it,” says Lauren Cerbin, eighth-grade student. “So I think this will also help prepare us for high school, college and really our whole life.”
Students were already familiar with the location until it underwent a transformation over the summer.
“This room we’re in was two classrooms, a small room on the back and then also a library,” says Birdsong. “So over the summer we moved the 8,000 books upstairs, one-by-one, with the whole group of us.”
St. Teresa plans on bringing robotics into the new space and is currently partnering with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to bring learning into their lab.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” says Johanna Pawlow, fourth-grade student. “Because science is one of my favorite subjects and I love just learning about our world.”
“It is truly a hands-on learning and trying to bring lessons to life and make those early connections for kids,” says Birdsong. “You know the old, ‘Why do I have to learn this?’ Hopefully those questions get answered before they get asked.”
And St. Teresa hopes by planting the seeds of science and more, they’ll be sprouting the STEM leaders of tomorrow.