ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A teacher’s request to students to measure the book shelves for the library turned into the Marian Middle School Berges Family Innovation Center.

Marian, St. Louis’ only all-girls Catholic middle school has 75 students, 90 percent of which live below the poverty level.

The students not only measured the book shelves last year for the library move but also designed the new space and told Marian Middle School President Mary Elizabeth Grimes, they’d hold bake sales to raise the money to build it. Instead, Grimes says the school got a quarter million dollar grant from the Berges Family Foundation to build the STEM Innovation Center. It includes a STEM laboratory, a presentation kitchen and what’s called a ‘maker workshop’.

“They refurbish furniture and then they donate that to women in transitional housing, the girls are rebuilding a motorcycle, they also have their robotics robots built and stored in this maker space,” she says.

Marian also received a $50 thousand challenge grant from the Brown Sisters Foundation and a $100 thousand grant from Monsanto.

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