From designing a gym shoe and creating a marketing plan for it, writing and editing a video, designing a house, or engineering a wind turbine, students at Simmons Middle School in Oak Lawn now have opportunities to partner up for projects that will enrich their tech and design skills.

The school’s Smart Lab opened this month at Simmons Middle School, part of Ridgeland School District 122, giving all students at the school time to delve into science, technology, engineering, and math — a grouping of subjects now commonly known as STEM. Students have the opportunity to work on hands-on projects in mechanics, graphic design, renewable energy, circuitry, robotics, data analysis, and more.

“We knew our students would love it and we had to get our hands on it,” said Simmons Principal Tracy Flood. Flood and others visited several schools that already have something similar in place, including James Hart School in Homewood,

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