History of Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center (VSMSC) is named for Baron Frederick Wilhelm Von Steuben (1730—1794), a Prussian officer, commissioned by George Washington in 1777 to train inexperienced American revolutionary troops at Valley Forge. His regulations for the order and discipline of the colonials became the army’s standard drill manual, the Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, which remained the official military manual until 1814.
Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center has not always been known by that name. In fact, the facade of the building refers to the building as home to Von Steuben Senior High School. That was true from 1933 to 1982. Von Steuben originally opened its doors at the corner of Kimball and Carmen avenues in the Albany Park community as a junior high school in September 1930, with a capacity of 2,500 students. In September 1933, it was designated as a senior high school with a portion of the building to be used as an elementary school.
As an Options for Knowledge high school within Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Von Steuben draws its students from many of the 500+ elementary schools in the city of Chicago. The student body is, therefore, a microcosm of the racial, ethnic, social and economic diversity found in the population of America’s third largest city.
Today, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center is home to over 1,700 students in grades 9 through 12. These students come from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods--each contributing to the best magnet high school in the city.