Right now students at St. Edward High School in Lakewood are creating concepts for movies, business plans and so much more inside the brand new Joseph and Helen Lowe Innovation Center.
The 28,000-square-foot addition just opened to students last week when the 2018-2019 school year began.
The new area is three floors of new classrooms, labs and technology centers.
"I felt like something was missing," Andre Holland said.
Holland is a senior at the high school. When we caught up with Holland he was using one of the floors to create a horror movie concept.
"I love this space," he said, with a smile on his face.
The lower floor of the building is dedicated to engineering, a subject St. Edward's has offered or 15 years. But inside the new area, it's full of robots, 3-D printers and welding equipment.
"Really it’s about getting the kids engaged in hands-on learning —a very technical way," St. Edward's President, Jim Kubacki, said.
The first floor is more traditional. It's dedicated to advanced sciences, chemistry and physics. It has four labs full of equipment for science experiments.
"It's authentic teaching," Kubacki said. "I don’t want students to learn what science is, I want them to learn what scientists do."
Then there's the second floor—the unique part to the St. Edward's curriculum. This area is for entrepreneurial sciences.
A space for students to become creative, where they can express themselves and bounce ideas off of one another - whether it's for a movie they're creating or a business plan.
“I love that I can come up here and brainstorm my ideas on the wall or even have a quiet, calm place in the building," Holland said.
The area is full of interchangeable desks, comfortable seating, plenty of technology and walls the students can write on.
It's a place where they can feel like they're working, instead of sitting in class.
“It's kind of hard to keep your thoughts compressed, so if you really get a space where you can just write anywhere and you can go from here to there and write as much as you want and really develop your ideas, you could really be creative and come up with something big," Holland said.
Kubacki said their goal is to prepare students for the future - not the present.
"Ultimately what is always going to succeed is the realm of ideas. I think that is what's going to separate us. It's innovation but it's thoughtful innovation so that our students are armed with the skills they need to be serving leaders, what we want them to be, in the world and to do something really special," Kubacki said.