In a world that becomes more technologically advanced every day, knowledge of STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — is crucial for today’s students. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, started a new STEM program centered on project-based learning this school year. Led by Mr. Steve Barnaby, students in grades K-8 participate in real world, hands-on projects that make complex subjects relatable.
The Concept of STEM Education
Children often struggle with science and math because they don’t find them relatable. To most, these subjects don’t come as naturally as reading and writing. STEM education ties complex concepts together in a way that makes them easier to relate to and understand. It often involves hands-on, collaborative learning, which allows students to experience the subject matter in a deeper way.
The STEM Program at St. Charles Borromeo
Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, students at St. Charles Borromeo have received project-based learning opportunities alongside their classroom lessons. Elementary school students now have STEM programming all year as part of the curriculum, while middle school students have a trimester dedicated to STEM classes. Students complete these projects in the new STEM lab, where they learn about the scientific process of asking questions, analyzing data and solving problems.
Benefits of Project-Based Learning
Reading about science in textbooks works for some students, but hands-on lessons help students understand and relate to the material. Project-based learning in STEM allows students to think critically and solve problems in new ways, as well as learning how to collaborate with other students to reach common goals. These skills will carry them beyond the STEM lab and the classroom into the rest of their lives.
Hands-On Learning in the Classroom
With the help of our STEM instructor Mr. Steve Barnaby, students have done many exciting hands-on activities, all within the standards of their grade-level curriculum. Students have worked on all kinds of projects, from high rise structures to Mars rovers. They also learned how to operate drones this year using the principles of flight. These are just a few of the projects students have worked on this year. With this being the first year of the program, we look forward to what the future of the STEM program holds.
At our Orlando private school, we’re focused on the future, and the future is STEM. St. Charles Borromeo is more than a place to learn; it’s a diverse community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.