Students’ science learning has changed dramatically from learning in the past. In a STEM environment, students’ understanding of the world around them is facilitated through the
between the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A STEM curriculum provides research-based instructional strategies that engage diverse learners and highlight career pathways in STEM-related fields. More importantly, STEM provides opportunities for all students to place themselves in a 21st-century world.
At Saint Augustine Catholic School we look for new ways to prepare students for our interconnected and global world. The commitment to this integration naturally coincides with our progressive approach towards education. From pre-primary school through 8th grade, our goal is the integration of STEM at all levels. Students often do not realize how engaging science and engineering can be until activities are presented in a hands-on manner. Project-based science, math, and engineering activities expose our students to the rigorous scientific method and developing skills to communicate, question, research, analyze, and draw conclusions that they can understand and defend.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS
This year we hired our first STEM Certified Science Teacher, Jenny Soriano, who has begun, to re-vision the way our faculty teaches; specifically how we can integrate the efforts of our staff in the areas of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering through project-based learning. Students are able to engage in inquiry or problem-based units that successfully build a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the experimental design process. This includes:
- coding and architectural design;
- building a motorized car using basic handyman tools and simple circuitry;
- designing a 3D model of a house using Google Sketchup software; or
- creating animations and simple games through Scratch program.
These projects have all been introduced this year – but only in Science class. We envision this type of project-based learning being utilized more broadly throughout the school curriculum. How?
FR. RAYMOND KEMP STEM CHAIR
With your generous support of the Father Raymond Kemp STEM Chair Fund, we will incorporate STEM workstations in every classroom and invest in
- Projects Kits to support 10 separate projects for a class of 25 students (70 project kits from Pre-K to Grade 5);
- 8 chemical-resistant lab tables (Middle School);
- 10 LEGO Mindstorm sets (Middle School);
- Hummingbird Kit (Middle School);
- 10 basic Arduino Kits (Middle School);
- 25 iPads or Chromebooks (Middle School);
- a fume hood to enable students to perform chemistry experiments safely; and
- showcasing our students’ work by joining STEM/Science Expos.
Many thanks to Fr. Kemp for choosing to celebrate his legacy of service and justice by encouraging us to invest in the future – the children of St. Augustine Catholic School!