Serena Hills Elementary Announces SmartLab Donation

Flossmoor School District 161 (IL) announced a generous donation from alumnus Allan DiCastro to fund the district's first SmartLab. DiCastro's generous donation of up to $200,000 will fund a SmartLab at Serena Hills Elementary where he was a student in the early 1970's. 

DiCastro remembers his time at Serena Hills fondly. "Experiences in that school made me feel I could achieve what anyone else could,” DiCastro told the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle. “And then as I went out into the world that sense of worth stuck and grounded me so often.”

Now, after a successful twenty year career in finance, his generosity will provide his alma mater with STEAM resources so that other students can benefit from similar inspiration. 

We appreciate Mr. DiCastro's commitment to educating young learners and are proud to partner with Flossmoor District 161. 


Serena Hills Elementary and Alumnus Allan DiCastro

Record Attendance at AFDC 2017

Over 100 SmartLab facilitators attended AFDC 2017 at The Englewood Campus (CO) last week. Educators from around the country (and as far away as El Salvador!) took time from their summer break to attend Creative Learning Systems' annual week-long workshop. 

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the launch of the first SmartLab in 1987, the theme of this year's conference was "30 Years of Making Makers". The keynote speaker was Ray Ramadorai, a middle school student in the first SmartLab who is now a successful aerospace engineer. His address inspired the attendees and provided a privileged glimpse into the long-term impact of their work as a SmartLab facilitator.  

Attendees learned about the latest in STEM/STEAM technology and project-based, student-centered facilitation techniques. In addition to a wide range of hands-on workshops and seminars, the daily "Share Fair" once again provided an opportunity for facilitators to share student work and learn best-practice classroom and SmartLab management strategies from their peers. 

Thanks to all who attended, our dedicated conference staff, and to Englewood School District for hosting this years' conference.


Over one-hundred SmartLab Facilitators attended AFDC 2017


SmartLab Facilitators show off their Zometool mega-dodecahedron project

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