Mount St. Mary Academy announces the launch of an extensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) program that includes expanded science facilities, new academic offerings and a distinctive STEAM introductory course to educate students on future career possibilities. The new program is made possible by the Buffalo Independent Secondary Schools Network (BISSNET) and the John R. Oishei Foundation Diversification and STEAM Capacity Building grant which provides the school with over $40,000 in the first year of program development with additional funding over the next three years.
In the 2014-5 school year, Mount St. Mary Academy will unveil a new STEAM laboratory where students will tackle interdisciplinary projects. The space will provide computer technology, engineering space and increased scientific equipment to encourage students to solve problems of structure design, environmentalism, and computer programming.
A STEAM Foundations course will be offered to all sophomores beginning in the fall semester. The program will center on inquiry-based learning throughout the disciplines of STEAM study. Students will apply STEAM principles to current issues, such as building a bridge while discussing the environmental, aesthetic and political concerns of the Peace Bridge project.
“With today’s ever-changing technology, students are not aware of the vast array of careers available to them,” says Matthew Colebeck, MSM’s STEAM co-coordinator. “Through STEAM Foundations, we seek to build upon current interest and opportunities, and spark a fire that will drive these young women to continue into professions normally dominated by men.”
“Through this partnership with the John R. Oishei Foundation, our students will be going beyond the classroom to partner with businesses and colleges throughout the area,” says Dawn Riggie, principal of Mount St. Mary Academy. “STEAM Foundations will provide hands-on learning to make the fields of the future come alive for these young scholars.”
The STEAM program at Mount St. Mary will continue to develop over the course of three years with the introduction of additional course offerings, including a robotics program and additional Advanced Placement coursework. Expanded offerings in STEAM fields will be selected to encourage students to continue along the path that appeals to their individual interest.