Marist High School debuts new STEM wing, taking science center stage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After major renovations and millions of dollars of investment, the students at Marist Catholic High School have an incredibly unique learning opportunity.

Thursday was a typical first day of school in a very atypical high school.

"Doesn't even feel like I'm at school really. I feel like I'm at a museum or something because there's just so much going on," said senior Avery Jedry.

Marist made a $15 million investment to transform a former monastery on its grounds into a learning environment of the future.

"It's amazing. We have so many ways we can learn," said junior Nyherowo Omene.

Now, these students will work with equipment usually reserved for college students, like medical mannequins that can respond to your touch.

Want to look inside the human body? They can zoom in to almost every part with an interactive anatomy board. And they can piece together what happened in real life crimes in the new forensics lab.

Some of the school's theater team helped to build and stage the rather gruesome scene of the OJ Simpson case.

"Our students were able to take observations right off the bat, hypothesize what they think happened," said Science Curriculum Coordinator Carrie Spano. "I want them to have their hands on something every day. I want them to be able to learn by doing."

Perhaps the coolest part is a fully operational mini planetarium, with a dome made by the same company that built the one for the Adler Planetarium.

"You see things that some people don't see until undergrad, maybe their Masters program," Omene said. "So to see it in full action when you're a senior, you haven't even got to college yet, it's kind of like the sky's the limit at this point.
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