To prepare our next generation for the types of jobs that are in their future, the big push in American education is an initiative program known as STEM which focuses on the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The ultimate goal of STEM education is to encourage students to take an interest in these subjects at an early age which would be beneficial to them when they enter the job market, and in turn it should benefit the greater economy. Our American education system needs a significant improvement in these areas for the workforce of tomorrow to have a competitive edge in a globalized, high-tech marketplace.
In 2014, the Diocese of Buffalo Department of Catholic Education introduced an expansion of the principles of STEM education with STREAM and infused Religion across all the subjects and the Arts to provide the creative thinking skills thus, educating the whole child. Our school was chosen as one of 10 Catholic schools from a blind draw to implement the pilot STREAM program in the Fall of 2014.
In addition to the integration of STREAM across our curriculum, we are also implementing after school STREAM Academies in all grade levels. These academies are held on Thursdays from 2:20 to 3:30 pm and will be run by CAONF teachers. There will be two semesters: Fall (October, November) and Spring (January, February, and March). Each academy will have a limited number of pre-registration spots and a weekly commitment is necessary (there is also a minimal fee). Here is a list of our current and past STREAM Academies that we offer for our students to explore:
Robotics (Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016): Offers students an exciting platform for teamwork, engineering and problem solving among student design teams. Integrated into the curriculum beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
Science Scrimmage (Spring 2015, Fall 2015: Next Generation, Fall 2017: Alternative NRG Gr. 4, 5 & 6): Engages and exposes the student to activities in the ever-changing world of science, technology, and engineering. In the Fall 2017 Academy, students will learn the ins and outs of solar power generation and solar panels, all leading up to the design and construction of their own solar-powered vehicle plus exploring wind power and turbines including the creation of their own wind turbines.
Arcade Academy (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2018 Gr. 2 & 3): Invites students to design and build fun and engaging arcade games made from cardboard, recycled materials and imagination.
PEAP (Fall 2014, Spring 2015): Encourages students to begin problem solving, generate design proposals, collaborate, and make connections to their favorite fairy tale characters. Integrated into the curriculum beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.
R in STREAM (Spring 2015, Fall 2016): Uses components of our Catholic faith as a launching point for projects combining artwork with science basics.
Invention Convention (Spring 2015): With creative thinking skill activities, students will use a problem solving model to invent a product utilizing every day items.
Coding Craze (Spring 2016), Creative Coding (Spring 2017): Students will learn the basic concepts of computer science with drop and drag programming using repeat loops, conditionals and basic algorithms and eventually writing their first computer program.
STREAM Sprouts (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017 K & Gr. 1, Spring 2018 PreK-4): Cultivates positive attitudes in all things science with games and activities for our youngest learners.
Kitchen Chem (Fall 2015, Spring 2016), Kitchen Chem Back At It! (Fall 2016, Spring 2017): Students will learn the origins of food, healthy food choices, food preparation and the impact of accurate measurement on a recipe's outcome.
You're the Balm (Fall 2016): Students experience entrepreneurship during this engaging academy where they learn about what is means to launch a business for a good cause.
LEGO U Academy (Fall 2016, Fall 2017 Gr. 2 & 3, Fall 2017 Vol. 2: Gr. 2 & 3, Spring 2018 Vol. 1: K & Gr. 1; Vol. 2: Gr. 4):Student learn to bring abstract concepts to life with a fun, hands-on approach that really engages students. LEGO® bricks turn numbers, words, and ideas into real models that can be touched, described, and innovated across all subject areas! Each week, the students will undertake a design challenge connected to topics taught at the primary level in ELA, Science, Social Studies, Religion, or Math utilizing LEGO® bricks. They will also have opportunities to present and share, strengthening their presentation skills!
Game On! Video Game Art and Design (Spring 2018 Gr. 5 & 6): Students will learn critical thinking skills, problem solving, and even explore the video game design career. Coding is crucial in today's society. Between web design, graphic design, and computer programmers, students will learn the engineering design process to experience how a video game is built.
Breakout EDU (Spring 2018 Gr. 4): An immersive learning games platform where players use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to open a locked box.