MUNDELEIN, Ill. - Monday was the first day of school at Mundelein High School, where some students are getting ideas about possibilities for their careers.
"It was really fun just to use the microscopes in our projects, so I decided this year I want to do even more research," student Anushka Desai said.
The north suburban school added a STEM focus last year. This year, some of the students who took nanoscience are eager for their next science projects.
"I personally studied anti-bacterial fabric, trying to mimic dragonfly wings. And I tried applying that to baby blankets and maybe other material," said Jose Ramos, another student.
The school's 2,000 students has access to new labs, a business incubator, where students prepare for internships and art with an eye on design. Some art projects will be used for mock product design.
"Our students are going to have the soft skills to know that no matter what field they go into, they're going to be able to work through any of the people issues," said Mundelein District 120 Supt. Kevin Myers.
Along with some tweaks to the class schedule with shorter periods, administrators hope to offer students more options. Some students say the options are helping to focus on their futures.
"Students are getting more exposure to different types of majors so they have a better idea by the time they're juniors or seniors," Supt. Myers said.
"Before I was kind of thinking science, but I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do," Desai said. "Now, I'm kind of set on biology."
The start of school may seem early, but Mundelein High School is actually starting a week later. The switch in schedule allows for the calendar change. The classes used to be 90 minutes long, and now, they are 50-minute classes.
Not only helping kids with a career focus, but allows for students struggling to get help before they fall too far behind.