STREAM stands for science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math. The program was designed to have our students engage in project-based activities that have them collaborating with each other in small groups. The children are placed in groups of three or four and are given a project to complete. Each project comes with a set of criteria the students have to follow. They work in their groups designing, building, testing, and tweaking their projects. The teacher does nothing more than facilitate the projects. The process comes from the students, using critical thinking skills. After the completion of the projects, the children must communicate about them, so as to develop this very important skill, preparing them for the future. Projects include activities such as building a farm fence with a working gate, or a bridge high enough for boats to travel under, and sturdy enough to hold a determined amount of weight. The children love their STREAM day. Students in preschool through sixth grade are involved with STREAM at Conn-Area Catholic.
In today’s world, technology is a way of life. We would be remiss if we did not attend to the needs to educate our students on its value in the realm of education. Therefore, beginning in kindergarten, our students are scheduled in the lab for computer lessons. First through sixth grader students are in the computer lab three times a week. Our students experience PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets in Excel, brochures in Publisher, all features of Word, and coding. Additionally, they learn keyboarding skills and Internet safety. Our fourth through sixth graders engage in the Robotics Program, a STEM initiative that allows them build a robot out of LEGOSs and then program it on their iPads. They delight in seeing their robots move as they programmed them to do. Students in preschool through third grade also participate in a LEGO Robotics Program.
Besides the computer lab, our school also has 30 iPads which the teachers bring into their classrooms for their students to use during the school day. In addition, students in third through sixth grade have their own laptops, and students in first and second grade have their own iPads.