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St. Mark Catholic School announces its plan to build a comprehensive SmartLab
St. Mark Catholic School announces its plan to build a comprehensive SmartLab on its campus in time for the 2017-18 school year, making it the only school in the DFW area, and one of only two schools in Texas, to offer this cutting-edge learning environment. This lab will not only serve to provide students with the most engaging and educational learning tools available, but will also put St. Mark “on the map” as a true leader in advanced education methods.

A SmartLab is a fully integrated, customized facility where students explore many disciplines through applied technology and project-based learning, extending classroom lessons in a whole new, hands-on way. The lab is carefully designed and provisioned for each grade level, meeting the targeted needs of the school’s campus. Applications in the lab serve to reinforce academics across many disciplines, and to build next generation skills. In a nutshell, it is a S.T.E.M. lab for everyone, not just students interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

St. Mark students will be able to experience firsthand disciplines such as graphic design, robotics, Photoshop, medical applications, digital animation, scientific data analysis, software engineering, music studio applications, circuitry, mechanics and structures…the list goes on and on. They will have the opportunity to rotate from project to project, and will be encouraged to discover, explore, and apply a wide range of technologies to their project work. Projects might include constructing a large-scale mechanical Ferris wheel with K’NEX, or designing a home, or composing music, or creating a model using computer software and a 3-D printer, or conducting scientific experiments using specialized probes, among many others.

Further, an appropriate level of challenge can be provided to each student, addressing all learning styles. From students who need extra support, to average learners, to students identified as gifted/talented, there is something to enable everyone to work at their own level and pace.

Installation is a turnkey process where consultation, guidance and products from A-Z are implemented within the school’s space. Everything shown in this video will be included in St. Mark’s lab including the computers, cameras, 3-D printer, over 300 project kits, signage and design, and much more. Furniture and technology, hardware/software and construction kits, and curriculum and assessment, work together to support hands-on, minds-on learning. Walk into a SmartLab and you’ll see students buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. Autonomy is encouraged, collaboration is the norm, and problems are celebrated as a path to mastery.

Construction will take place during the summer of 2017.

St. Mark Catholic School of Plano, Texas is a two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award. St. Mark educates preschool through eighth grade students in the Catholic traditions of faith, gospel values, and academic excellence. For more information about St. Mark Catholic School and its programs, visit the school’s website at www.stmcs.net, find them on Facebook at St. Mark Catholic School-Plano, TX, or follow St. Mark on Twitter @stmarkcatholic.


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