Courtesy of Washington Leadership Academy Public Charter School
Courtesy of Washington Leadership Academy Public Charter School

Students and staff at Washington Leadership Academy Public Charter School had a lot to cheer about Wednesday after being named one of 10 nationwide winners of the “XQ: Super School Project.”

The $100 million award equates to $10 million for each of the winning schools, where during the 2017-18 term participating students will be tasked with creating a design for what a next-generation school would look like.

The first-of-its-kind project, which is the brainchild of Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, came to fruition a year ago when she solicited ideas for “unconventional, unconstrained ideas to reinvent the American high school.”

Here’s how the creation will work:

10th-grade chemistry students at the academy in Northeast will strap on a virtual reality headset to enter a fully immersive and scientifically accurate virtual reality chemistry lab. They will see their lab partner and, just as students would do in a traditional lab, the two will discuss what they will do in the experiment.

The other winners include Grand Rapids Public Museum High School in Michigan; Summit Elevate, Vista Challenge High School, RISE High, all in California; Delaware’s Design-Lab High; Brooklyn LAB High School in New York City; Furr Institute for Innovative Thinking in Texas; New Harmony High in Louisiana and Massachusetts’ Powderhouse Studios.

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