STEAM (STEM + Arts) is the intentional integration of the individual disciplines of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math in order to assist students in the development of communications skills, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. We believe interweaving these five areas of learning fosters an environment that encourages problem solving, group dynamics, critical and analytical thinking, and independent thinking. The four STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math have overlapping concepts such as measurement, algebra, patterns, force, and motion. The addition of the arts, fosters curiosity and generative thinking which nurture the ingenuity and creative design skills that are key to STEM challenges.
Our STEAM program at HFK is intentionally scaffolded throughout the years and involves not only combining science, technology, engineering, art, and math content but also bringing the real world into our classrooms. In our life science classes, we solve real medical mysteries; in our physical science classes, we discover how to prevent asteroid collisions; and in our earth science classes, we build 3-D biosphere arenas to learn about ecosystems.
Students team with scientists in Antarctica to help monitor the nests of Adelie penguins, assist conservation scientists in Kenya with counting African animals, and count images from the Hubble telescopes alongside astrophysicist researchers. We believe this project- and problem-based STEAM learning engages our students in rigorous and relevant educational experiences.
By engaging in applied learning – identifying problems, building prototypes, and testing solutions – students develop critical skills in problem-solving, teamwork, time management, communication and leadership, which ensures high school, college and career readiness for the STEM-enabled 21st century.
Further, in our collaborative STEAM program, we place a high priority on leadership, integration of Catholic social justice teachings and the 21st Century skill applications built on a foundation of our Catholic faith.