Good Shepherd Catholic School in Ardsley, Montgomery County has added to its STEM initiative — which emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math — with the inclusion of religion and arts to its educational model.
This instructional approach focuses on real-world applications, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and exploration.
“STREAM adds two more areas to a STEM approach to learning. Moving from STEM to STREAM is important for our students,” said Sister Helen Thomas, I.H.M., the principal of Good Shepherd. “The purpose of our school is the religious formation and education of our children. Religion is incorporated in all that we do.”
Sister Helen noted Good Shepherd’s strong fine arts program, adding, “There are many ways to tap into the creativeness of our students using this approach. We are preparing our children to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”
With its focus on the STREAM initiative Good Shepherd has added new technology tools and resources available for students. These include robotics using Ozobots, LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and Roboterra systems; computer coding through applications integrated with robotics; and virtual reality using Google Expedition.
Students in teacher Alexis Wilson’s sixth grade combined religion and technology using Ozobots, a pocket-sized robot that teaches programming, to map out “the Story of Creation.” Students coded a path for their robots that stopped on each day of the biblical creation story, allowing students to guide classmates through the map and explain what happened on each day.
“We learned about the Story of Creation when we were younger,” said a sixth grade student. “When using the Ozobots we were able to add coding to retell the story and we were able to really understand the love that God had for his plans.”
Teachers in preschool through eighth grade incorporate STREAM into lessons and special projects throughout the school year.
Good Shepherd Catholic School is rooted in the traditions of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a Christ-centered environment focused on nurturing students’ commitment to God, scholarship, community and service.
The school’s dedicated faculty and families work together to identify and develop each student’s God-given talents and academic promise, preparing students for a faith-filled life of learning, leadership and love for others.
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