STEM at Every Grade Level

Empowering Students to Thrive in the Classroom and Beyond

Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, students at Faithful Shepherd will experience an enhanced school curriculum with the addition of formal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) instruction at every grade level. Our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum provides a transformative learning experience for students with the goal of empowering them to thrive in the classroom and beyond. As a national leader in STEM education, PLTW provides a strong foundation to further advance our existing math and science programs.

Students in grades K-5 will begin their STEM journey through the PLTW Launch modules. These modules will give students an opportunity to collaborate and problem solve in the areas of biomedical science, computer science, and engineering. These modules tap into the inherent creativity and inquisitiveness in younger students. Their learning will feel more like playtime as they explore these subjects through hands-on activities.

Middle school students began their STEM experience with the PLTW Gateway program. Students participate in the Design and Modeling course which focuses on the engineering design process. Throughout this course, students collaborate to design and create items useful to an individual with cerebral palsy. One item they create is an Ankle Foot Orthosis which is used by someone with spastic hemiplegia and diplegia, conditions of CP that can make walking difficult. Another project students complete is modifying a puzzle cube to be accessible to an individual with CP who has fine motor challenges. The final project will incorporate all of the skills gained throughout the year where students will design and create their own items for individuals with CP.

Computer Science for Innovators and Makers will be added to the middle school STEM experience. This course will focus on computer science and coding as students learn to program for the physical world. Students will design and create wearable safety devices, engaging art installations, and mechanical dispensers for people or animals.

Faithful Shepherd provides a great space for students to tap into their creative gifts. Thanks to the generous support of our family community, the STEM lab now includes a more robust industrial-like space. Two walls were painted with whiteboard paint to provide an additional area for students to brainstorm and plan. Additionally, a class set of STEM laptops and two MakerBot 3D printers were purchased to enhance our students’ STEM experience. Through the use of SketchUp CAD software students can to quickly bring their innovative ideas to life. Along with a new interactive projector the STEM lab is the perfect environment to prepare your child for the future.