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STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Using STEAM education results in students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. By exposing our students to STEAM lessons and giving them opportunities to explore STEAM-related concepts, they will become successful in our technological society and develop knowledge and understanding of the disciplines that help build our world. 
STEAM: Hatching Chicks!

STEAM: Hatching Chicks!

The dedicated “mother hens” in Mrs. Gottardo’s first grade classroom and Mrs. O’Hara’s Science Lab were thrilled to welcome many baby chicks into the world during the week of May 7. Beginning on Monday, May 7, the chicks began to peck their way out of the shells that have been carefully tended for 21 days.

In the first grade classroom, the eggs were manually turned three times per day by Mrs. Gottardo. The Science lab used an incubator awarded from a grant that Mrs. O’Hara and Mrs. Gottardo applied for. That incubator was equipped with an automatic egg turner.  Both hatcheries were quite successful. The first grade classroom welcomed 22 baby chicks and 16 hatched in the Science Lab.

The children will continue to observe the chick growth and development for another week or so. The whole school gets excited about watching this miracle of life (in fact, the first chick to hatch in the Science Lab was named Miracle). Science is very thrilling when it happens before your eyes!

STEM at St. Als/St. Pats: Invention Convention 2022

STEM at St. Als/St. Pats: Invention Convention 2022

The St. Alphonsus-St. Patrick School Invention Convention was held on Thursday, January 27. Students from both 7th and 8th grade participated in the event. They began developing their inventions in October under the direction of Mrs. O’Hara, our junior high science teacher. The students first brainstorm to think of an original product that might serve a useful purpose, solve a problem, or fill a particular need. The final products represent months of hard work, ingenuity, and creative problem solving. The student inventions include market research and a marketing plan.  The products were quite varied this year and some, as the judges commented, could really be developed a little more and brought to fruition and sold in stores across the nation. The critical thinking and problem solving fostered by the Invention Convention are very important skills that students need to have in their toolbox for life.

The student inventions were judged by teachers and community members based on criteria such as the originality and usefulness of the idea, the workmanship of the product prototype, the marketing plan, market research, and the creator’s response to the market research. The projects receiving special recognition were as follows:

  • The first place project belonged to eighth grader NinaR. for “The Easy Reach Tissue Box”.
  • There was a tie for second place among three eighth graders: Maggie S. for “The Never Ever Tangles Hairbrush”; Ellie
    S. for “The Spike Away”; and Lily T. for “The Necklace Magnet”.
  • Third place was awarded to a seventh grade duo, Katie C. and Kaitlyn W. for “The Salon Pillow”.
  • Finally, we had three projects receive Honorable Mentions: Eighth graders Kate M. and Eden K. for “The Ecobrella”; eighth graders Joey F. and Blake G. for “The Griptster”; and seventh graders Anthony F. and Christopher H. for their “Auto Magic Door Kit”.

Take a look at some photos of our young inventors with their unique and useful creations.

Chromebooks Add to Our Technology Integration for Learning

Chromebooks Add to Our Technology Integration for Learning

We are pleased to offer a one to one Chromebook program for our junior high students in sixth through eighth grade.These devices enable teachers to deliver content and learning opportunities enhanced by technology all day long. They will further boost student's technology skills and empower our children to do increasingly complex and creative work.
There are additional Chromebooks available in the Collaborative Learning Center so that children in grades three through five can also have occasional experiences with these devices.  Our students experience computer use on regular PC computers, iPads, and now also Chromebooks. They will be prepared for a variety of technology platforms when they leave our school.