Happenings in “The Hub”

Students from the USD 266 district venture to the Maize Career Academy to study in The Hub and take advantage of the coffee shop-like atmosphere.


Photo Illustration by Alexis Baty

The Maize Career Academy Hub is included in the 40,000 foot collaborative work space for students that makes use of great natural light for students of Maize High and Maize South.

Bridget Johnson and Piper Pinnetti

A perfect study space has calming music playing and the natural light outside pouring into the open area. Students come to get away from a suffocating classroom or for quiet in the calming, college-like atmosphere. 

The Maize School District of 266 accomplished just this when creating a perfect environment for students to learn and study in a way they prefer.

“The Hub” was designed into the new Maize Career Academy (MCA) addition as a unique place for students and teachers to learn outside the classroom. From studying in the morning, to fun learning activities in a new setting, the space can help students be college and career ready with hands-on learning while spending much-needed time with their friends.

Aiden Herrington (10), a OneMaize broadcasting student, learns how to fly a drone in front of the Maize Career Academy with instruction from producer Derek Lowrey of Derek Lowrey Video Production. Although Herrington does not use the Hub on a daily basis, he enjoyed watching a professional race drones and learning how to fly drones. (Photo by Bridget Johnson)

Administrative assistant, Jill Greenlee, was involved with the construction of The Hub when the idea was proposed.

“The MCA was part of a bond that was voted and signed to begin construction,” said Greenlee. “Specifically, the bond approved of the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Maize Middle School, its transportation, and the MCA addition to Maize High School.”

The Hub is filled with greys and vibrant oranges to separate the school from being Maize High or Maize South, and being independent for all students to be comfortable. There are couches to relax, high tables and low tables, as well as all chairs on wheels. This allows The Hub to be customized.

“The area is multipurpose,” Greenlee said, “we make it what it needs to be.”

During a drone flying workshop, Adam Dreher, a videographer, explains drone safety and flying techniques to prepare a group of OneMaize students to fly drones later in the class. Using the Hub as a classroom is just one of the many ways people in the USD 266 community make use of the space on a daily basis. (Photo by Bridget Johnson)

The Hub has played host to Maize High’s Play Magazine staff award night to lectures and occasional County Commissioner meetings. One of the most popular subjects in the MCA are the Health Science and Anatomy classes offered by teachers Rob Archibald and Chad Orton. 

The Health Science classes have been known to be challenging courses some students struggle with. The Hub is a great space for these students to get extra time to learn the content.

Orton uses The Hub in various ways to get his students out of the classroom and in the studying mindset.

“Usually I send them out to study to give them more of a chance to get comfortable outside of the classroom,” Orton said. “They’ll use it to study their lab notebooks, discuss subjects from our recent lessons, and even take out different models to spread out and learn.”

The customizable space includes two nook areas where the anatomy students can use the whiteboards to draw pictures and practice identifying different structures.

Maize High junior Tanner Marshall has taken four classes all held at MCA: Health Science I and II, Anatomy, and Physiology. Marshall is planning on pursuing the medical field after graduation in 2022 and uses The Hub to his advantage.

“I like using The Hub,” Marshall said, “it gives you more time to figure out how you like to study and what works for you to learn the topics and not studying how the teacher wants you to.”