WILLIAMSVILLE — It has been an exciting year for STREAM at St. Gregory the Great School. St. Greg's has adopted the STREAM culture implementing, and building onto, much of the initiative curriculum. Teachers are planning their teaching around core principles of collaboration through interdisciplinary lessons and hands-on learning experiences, especially through use of the engineering design process.
Several STREAM academies were introduced after school in both the first and second trimesters to offer hand on learning of science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math. Academies included Arcade Academy, Invention Convention, PEAP, Robotics, Kitchen Chemistry, Science Scrimmage, Lighting the "R" in STREAM and Coding for Girls. Many of the students in these academies attended the X-STREAM Games in December. St. Greg's had a great showing with students winning ribbons in Science Scrimmage and Robotics. Alex Manka, a seventh-grader, also had the privilege of guest judging the Kitchen Chemistry sessions after appearing on the Food Network "Chopped Jr." show, where he made it to the final dessert round.
Students also enjoyed interactions with many of our community partners such as the Buffalo Zoo, the Buffalo Museum of Science, Tifft Nature Preserve and the Botanical Gardens, as well as many others through field trips and outreach experiences at the school. These engaging and hands-on encounters allowed the children to experience their curriculum in fun and stimulating ways. Students in seventh grade were able to have the unique experience of working with Brent Baum, the producer and director of "Finding Noah," a movie of exploration and faith. After watching the movie, the children were able to explore issues and themes that relate to the world today.
"The students have been given some amazing field trip opportunities this year, filled with engaging and meaningful material," said Shaina Kantor, STREAM coordinator for St. Greg's. "To continue to build on what we already have, we are planning on partnering with the Buffalo Zoo in order to provide an educational, hands-on experience for each of our students next year that goes along with what they are learning in the classroom."
The school will also hold a "Wild About STREAM" night in late October.
Throughout the year, St. Greg's teachers continued to integrate technology into the curriculum. Class sets of Chromebooks were purchased for fifth- to eighth-grade students. Patrick McMillian, the Latin teacher, created a paperless classroom using the new machines, Google Classroom, and other Google apps. The children learned real world skills by collaborating and working through their Chromebooks.
"STREAM offers amazing opportunities for students to see how studies in one area relates to studies in another," said Patricia Freund, St. Greg's principal. "It also gives students real life experiences to build on in the future. STREAM is amazing."