RACINE — St. Catherine’s High School has plans to create a science, technology, engineering and math lab with the help of a $500,000 grant from SC Johnson.

The grant will support the high school, one of the Siena Catholic Schools of Racine, in creating learning environments that aim to best prepare students to integrate into a rapidly changing workforce.

“Our goal at St. Catherine’s is to prepare our students to be college, career and community ready upon graduation,” stated Todd Willems, Siena Catholic Schools of Racine’s chief academic officer. “Creating a well-rounded STEM program, complete with a highly functional STEM learning space, provides opportunities for our students to tackle rigorous real-life problems in creative and collaborative ways — preparing them for any career path that they may choose to pursue.”

STEM programs combine science, technology, engineering and math to teach problem-solving skills in a project-based setting, Siena officials said. The programming aims to help students become creative, critical thinkers to prepare them for the high-tech jobs of the future.

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“SC Johnson is proud to support the STEM Lab at St. Catherine’s to help enhance the overall education of its students and further their career aspirations,” stated Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Jobs in STEM fields are projected to grow at a rate nearly 50 percent higher than the overall economy through 2026. This new lab will help students build the necessary skills and offer additional opportunities to pursue STEM-based careers.”

The new lab will be named the SC Johnson STEM Lab.

“We are grateful to SC Johnson for their continued support of education in Racine,” stated Brenda White, president of Siena Catholic Schools of Racine. “Their generosity will help us to create a state-of-the-art learning space, greatly advancing the quality of STEM programming for the students of St. Catherine’s High School.”

The grant from the SC Johnson Advised Fund to St. Catherine’s was funneled through the Racine Community Foundation.

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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