Archdiocesan Schools Superintendent Greg Richmond, alumnus Tom Gallagher, Principal Kathy Berry, Father Bob Regan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn cut the ribbon to open the new STEM studio at St. Symphorosa School. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Archdiocesan Schools Superintendent Greg Richmond, alumnus Tom Gallagher, Principal Kathy Berry, Father Bob Regan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn cut the ribbon to open the new STEM studio at St. Symphorosa School. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Move over, 3 Rs

St. Sym’s new STEM lab adds 4 Cs

By Cosmo Hadac

Officials at St. Symphorosa School last week cut the ribbon to open their new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) studio, which they said will help give students the tools they need to succeed in the digital age.

“In my mind we needed something that makes St. Symphorosa stand out,” Principal Kathy Berry said at the Aug. 30 event. “I mean, we have a lot of things going on here. Our students are known and loved, and we have a small-school atmosphere.

CRRNH StSymSTEMRibbonCut 090722

Archdiocesan Schools Superintendent Greg Richmond, alumnus Tom Gallagher, Principal Kathy Berry, Father Bob Regan and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn cut the ribbon to open the new STEM studio at St. Symphorosa School. –Photo by Cosmo Hadac

“But also, since COVID, everyone has a Chromebook, so that’s not really new,” she continued. “This studio is going to be a place where students are encouraged to develop their 21st century skills.”

“What happens in the classroom, I don’t think there’s enough emphasis,” Berry added. “There’s so much where students are just looking for the right answer, or just tell me how to do it, or give me the instructions and I’ll follow it.”

She said a STEM studio like the new one at St, Symphorosa “is a place where students can be collaborative, can use their critical thinking skills. There’s not going to be one right answer. That type of thinking is what’s going to take our students to the next level, make them competitive in the workforce, whatever they want to do in high school, college and beyond.”

The process of turning a classroom into the STEM Studio took years of planning and raising funds through grants and private donations. The school raised $60,000 to make the studio a reality.

Beyond donating money St. Symphorosa alumnus Tom Gallagher (Class of 1966), will be donating his time to teach students two days a week. Gallagher was a leading corporate CEO for more than 30 years before retiring in 2021 to teach. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame.

On the wall of the STEM studio there is a sign that reads Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical thinking–the “four Cs” skills teachers hope to instill in their students.

CRRNH QuinnAtStSyms 090722

Thirteenth Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, State Rep. Angelica “Angie” Guerrero-Cuellar (D-22nd) and Catholic Schools Superintendent Greg Richmond work on building the tallest tower they can without speaking, an activity staged to display some of the non-verbal skills students will develop in the school’s new STEM studio. –Photo by Cosmo Hadac

In the studio there is a U-shaped table that has a couch, and stools of multiple sizes and textures. All of the other tables and chairs in the room are on wheels so they can be moved and arranged easily and there are places to stand and work. Berry said that this setup was very intentional, keeping in mind how students work differently.

The studio will be open to grades 5-8 in the first trimester of the school year followed by grades 1-4 in the second and kindergarten and pre-k in the third.

Like other educators, Berry is seeing that students lost some of their social skills during quarantine. She sees the studio as a place to relearn and sharpen them.

“You kind of have to teach them all over again how to because they were talking to people over screens, over Zoom. Now it’s interactive, in person. How we talk to one another, how do we relate, how do we take turns, share. All of those things are so important and this environment will make that happen,” she said.

“With our Catholic values, we want our students to have empathy, compassion, to show each other kindness–so it really brings all of those things together in one room,” Berry concluded.

St. Symphorosa School is still accepting transfer students for the 2022-23 academic year. Tuition assistance is available. For details, call the school at (773) 585-6888.

Local News

Mary Stanek

Halloween candy dish already full

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 We welcome October and its Halloween festivities. I also welcome all of the Halloween treats that have filled my candy dish already. The St. Turibius community will not be going hungry. Thanks to neighbors, friends and volunteers,…

Peggy Zabicki

There is such a thing as a stupid question

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Today is Ask a Stupid Question Day. Officially, this annual holiday is Sept. 28 but is usually observed on the last school day of September, which falls on Friday, Sept. 30 this year. Whose idea was this? The West Lawn Gardeners group…

Kathy Headley

Weather, and fishing, are just fine

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 The weather has been perfect lately for spending time at Marquette Park, hasn’t it? Whether fishing, golfing, playing tennis or just going for a leisurely walk, folks have been taking advantage of how lucky we are to have…

Joan Hadac

Plenty to enjoy in Gage Park

By Joan Hadac GSWNH correspondent at large Greetings, Gage Parkers! While the search continues for a permanent writer of this column, I’m pleased to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something happening in this big, exciting part of Chicago, so here goes.…

Martin Hopkins, a 2009 St. Rita graduate, will lead the school's football program beginning next season. Supplied photo

Area sports roundup: No drama here, St. Rita grad Hopkins named Mustangs football coach

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer There will be no drama waiting to see who the will coach St. Rita’s football team in 2023. Even though there are four weeks to go in the 2022 regular season, the school last week named Martin Hopkins the successor to Todd Kuska. Kuska, in his 25th season as the…

GSWNH_CondorsWinNeighborhoodBattle_092322

Condors prevail on gridiron

Members of the Curie High School girls’ flag football team share a moment of triumph, moments after they won neighborhood bragging rights over Solorio Academy with a 22-8 victory last week. The Condors were paced by game MVP Destiny Miranda and QB Lexi Urzula. – Supplied photo

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 4.27.56 AM

City expands security-camera program

Free cams available for the poor From staff reports The City’s Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) has announced the launch of a new Income-Based Application that allows Chicagoans to obtain outdoor security devices, based on income. The expansion builds on what officials call the success of the Home and Business Protection Rebate Application, which helps…

Screen Shot 2022-09-19 at 3.32.50 PM

Is the pandemic over?

Not so fast, city Health Dept. seems to say From staff reports While both public health and political commentators assessed the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s recent proclamation that the pandemic is over, the Chicago Department of Public Health appears to be saying, not so fast. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem…

GSWNH_BaligaStRichardWindows_092322

A labor of love

  Stained glass entry glows with inspiration at St. Richard Church By Tim Hadac For many years, the north wall of St. Richard Church offered parishioners inside a distracting view of 50th Street. These days, it offers a glimpse into eternal salvation. The clear glass in the windows and doors of the church’s main entrance…

Chicago Police Department

‘That’s more like it’

Neighbors praise police for confronting rowdy crowds By Tim Hadac A year ago, crowds of Mexican Independence Day revelers trashed Pulaski Road—mostly between the Stevenson Expressway and Archer Avenue. In 2022, the partiers were back, but this time they appeared to be met by a more robust and coordinated police response—much to the satisfaction of…

Neighbors

Nael Digital Ad2
Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorneys for the state of Illinois joined their colleagues in Nevada and Virginia Wednesday in asking a federal appellate court to declare that the Equal Rights Amendment has been legally ratified as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “I have a daughter who intends to…

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday, Sept. 27, to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed individuals. The employer’s insurance premiums…

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed…

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides…

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

SWNH Ameri Corp House Ad
CRR NH Trianos Pizza House Ad