Scholarship entry from:

Keenan O’Keefe

West Chicago Community High School

School District 94

My name is Keenan O’Keefe and I am a senior at West Chicago Community High School, District 94. Since I have been a student here, we have undergone a lot of changes in our school, which I believe to be very beneficial to our learning environment. Although all areas of the school improved, I saw especially the science portion of the building take a leap.

The science hall stands out from the traditional school setup. We have a nucleus in the middle of all the science classes, which is an open space with high/low top tables and chairs you can work at. This is mostly used when working on a project that requires more room. Or if a student missed a couple days, they can focus on their work in a peaceful space, rather than being in the noisy classroom with twenty other students. There is also a bench across the hallway that spans for about thirty to forty feet. It’s a good resting place. I tend to see a lot of people use it during the passing periods, if they are talking to friends or just resting before their next class.

The science classes also have nice color schemes. In my human anatomy class, it’s mostly a purple looking theme. But in the chemistry room, it’s a softer orange color. It’s a subtle touch, but I think it makes every room have its own unique personality. The rooms aren’t loud either, and there is no echo when you talk in them, which is less distracting when trying to learn at your best ability.

Our school has been renovated with a lot of natural lighting, which everyone seems to enjoy. The new library has a big window facing west, where we can enjoy the warm sun. Luckily, there are also big curtains that help control the amount of light, to help the learning environment. I personally like natural lighting, especially if you are indoors all day with artificial lighting. It really helps change the mood by providing a sense of freedom and connection to the outdoors.  These are only a couple examples of the new architecture that our school has, but I am so grateful to have these updated spaces that make learning more productive and enjoyable.