The student-learning STEM model focuses on the overlap of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education, in an effort to prepare students for the 21st century workplace and a competitive global economy. More recently, the STEM acronym has morphed into STEAM, with the letter “A” introduced to encourage the integration of the arts to help drive innovation. This academic year, the Diocesan Department for Catholic Schools is taking STEM and STEAM one step further, so that Catholic school classrooms begin a new model: STREAM. The letter R represents what Catholic schools are all about when it comes to educating the whole child.
STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) is an educational initiative coming into focus for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The Office of Catholic Schools and Centers recently asked MTC to become a pilot STREAM school. STREAM Schools seek to integrate Catholic Identity into every aspect of the curriculum. They manifest this through projects based in social justice and promote a culture of innovation as well as a commitment to ethical behavior. The goals of the STREAM model include:
- To incorporate Catholic identity into every aspect of the curriculum through student directed, project-based experiential instruction.
- To be forward thinking, faith-based institutions that place high priority on faculty training, learning, leadership and 21st century skill applications.
- To provide a challenging learning environment that is focused on the integration of religion into science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
- To increase the content literacy of all students in every aspect of the curriculum, while maintaining a classical Catholic educational foundation.
- To promote a climate of innovation in all areas of instruction.
- To foster a climate that encourages problem solving, group collaboration, student-directed learning, and independent research.
As we begin this initiative, children at MTC will have the opportunity to participate in projects and activities that promote social justice and encourage forward thinking in the areas of science, technology, religion, engineering, the arts, and math. STREAM projects and activities will be embedded throughout the curriculum. In addition, children will have the opportunity to visit our new STREAM Lab twice a week to collaborate and work on STREAM projects and activities. This year, our middle school students will have the opportunity to participate in the County STEM Fair in hopes of moving forward to the state level competition. Children in grades K-8 will have the opportunity to participate in the national ExploraVision science competition.