STEAM-Powered Education: Catholic School Classes in the 21st Century
Learning is an adventure! There is more than one way to learn–especially these days, with new technology popping up all the time. Discover below how important this type of instruction is and how our Catholic schools are currently answering the call to properly prepare students for our rapidly changing world.
“In a time when our society is focused on women empowerment, it is still a sad fact that there is an overwhelming lack of women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) careers. According to data compiled by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, STEAM-related jobs are outpacing all career fields in the Omaha area, and average STEAM wages are higher than for other fields.
Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEAM-related jobs. Women miss these opportunities due to lack of encouragement and exposure. There is unmet demand for STEAM skills, and the corporate community is pressuring colleges to provide this academic training. In turn, colleges are requiring schools to better prepare their students for these challenging and rewarding careers.
We want to provide girls with an academic environment that is challenging yet encouraging, and also one that is comfortable so these students have the confidence to explore their interests and highlight their talents.
We want our students to experience first-hand that their future is full of possibilities and ensure they have the educational skills and strong sense of self to adapt to this rapidly changing world.
Education is the key to our success at all levels. As an Omaha community we must ensure that all young women are exposed to STEAM opportunities. Community members such as parents, alumnae and business leaders play an especially vital role. Exposure and education will help prepare out students for fast-growing fields in our world today.”
See below some highlights from a few specific schools’ efforts. Please know this list is not comprehensive of all school programming opportunities.
Mercy High: In addition to curriculum additions, Mercy has recently renovated its science laboratories, creating a state-of-the-art environment where students can experience hands-on science concepts, develop outstanding STEAM skills and explore potential careers.
Marian High School: Here in Omaha, Girls Who Code is partnering with Marian High School to open a third coding club. Unlike the other GWC clubs, its enrollment is open to any girl in grades six to 12. It is not necessary to apply; girls can just show up. Participants are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible. With interest in computer science showing its biggest drop off for girls between the ages of 13-17, the addition of another coding club is a tremendous opportunity for girls in Omaha – at no cost.
Marian’s Girls Who Code club is open to any young woman in grades 6-12 who has an interest in learning to use computer science to change the world. Sessions are held at Marian High School STEM Lab and more information is available by contacting the school.
Holy Cross: Holy Cross has grown its robotics club to now three teams, hosting their first competition this coming January. There is also a teacher who received a grant to attend Code.org training into middle school STEM plans.
Mary Our Queen: This school continues to add to enrich the student experience. In robotics alone, Omaha has a strong group of local K-8 Catholic Schools that compete, including: Holy Cross, Mary Our Queen, Jesuit Academy, St Robert Bellarmine, St Stephen the Martyr, St. Patrick-Elkhorn, St. Margaret Mary, St Cecilia Cathedral, St. Pius X/St. Leo. And robotics is just one area of STEM that’s engaging students.
Many, MANY other schools, including St. Bernard Catholic School in Omaha and St. Matthew in Bellevue, among others, have added to their STEAM materials and offerings this year. Some of our schools in both the Metro area and Greater Nebraska areas even utilize virtual training and education opportunities to allow students to talk to experts in various fields. Find a school via our new school locator online and schedule a tour anywhere to see science in person.
Educators, parents, students: please reach out the Catholic Schools Office for questions about incorporating technology and adding to your school’s STEM/STEAM/STREAM programs.
Have more to add to this list? Let us know by emailing Bbonczynski@archomaha.org.