San Diego, CA–Students at Baker Elementary School demonstrated their STEAM skills at a new SmartLab today, showcasing one of the San Diego Unified School District’s newest high-tech learning spaces before an audience of industry mentors who helped develop the facility.
Funded with a grant of more than $140,000 from Campos EPC, engineering, procurement, and construction firm headquartered in Denver, the lab is designed to help students from kindergarten through fifth grade produce original ideas, objects, and structures using STEAM concepts and skills.
“We are very grateful and honored that Campos EPC has chosen Baker Elementary School in San Diego Unified School District as the first recipient of a Campos EPC SmartLab in the state of California,” said Baker Elementary Principal Kathleen Gallagher. “This will enhance the STEAM education of some of our youngest learners here in San Diego, starting in a very high need and well-deserving school in our district.”
Campos EPC has furnished several schools in the Denver area with similar labs, but this is the first time the company has done so in California.
Representatives from Campos EPC, Creative Learning Systems – the organization that developed the STEAM curriculum for Baker Elementary – and the district were present for the official dedication ceremony. Others attended the event virtually via Zoom.
The SmartLab provides opportunities for hands-on exploration, potentially inspiring students to pursue science-based careers in the fields of medicine, engineering, and more.
“It’s an opportunity I didn’t have as a child,” said Founder and Chief Executive Marco Campos of Campos EPC. “I know it would have meant a lot to me. Generally, we just need more exposure to STEM. It’s the future of our country.”
Lab teacher Rich Redmond says the SmartLab is already creating a buzz for students and staff.
“My goal is that we hear our students say, ‘I’m going to be a doctor, scientist, geologist, engineer, game designer, robotics expert,’ said Redmond. “It happened today when a kindergartener, without prompting, remembered that it is his day for the lab and told his dad, ‘I’m going to be an engineer when I grow up!’