Calvary Day School STEM Program

In order to best prepare our students for the future that God has planned for each of them, our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program is integrated into all levels of academics. From Pre-K to 12th grade, STEM inspires our students to love learning through real world, problem-based lessons and activities. With our four distinct spaces, the Palmer STEM Lab, the Middle School STEM Lab, the Engineering Room, and the STEM and Nature Center, every student at Calvary has the opportunity to experience learning in an authentic and innovative way. By focusing on relevant connections to the curriculum, students understand how the topics they are covering in all content areas can be applied to their everyday lives. 

The Culture of STEM

At Calvary, STEM is not just a subject, but a culture, which extends into all aspects of learning for our students. Calvary’s STEM program reinforces communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking with challenging and fun lessons. As our Cavaliers transition from elementary to middle to high, our STEM program is designed to move with them into higher levels of inquiry, investigation, and innovation.

The Importance of STEM

Calvary STEM Philosophy: 
  • Students learn how to work with others in each of the STEM challenges. We encourage students to share ideas and work together in order to achieve a common goal.
  • In the STEM lab, in classrooms, and on campus, students rely on communicating efficiently. To know how to ask for help and express ideas in a persuasive manner, yet respond gracefully to other peers' ideas, is an important task for all students to accomplish. 
  • God’s creativity is expressed for us in His display and creation of the Heavens and the Earth. At Calvary, students are given the opportunity to further discover their gifts and skills and express their creativity through STEM.  
Critical thinking
  • When presented with a STEM challenge, students are first instructed to stop and think. Calvary encourages students to draw connections between learned information in all subject areas to solve the presented problems. 

Lower School STEM

As a special for our Lower School classes, STEM meets on a weekly rotation. Inside the Palmer STEM Lab, students are able to participate in hands-on, problem based, student centered lessons to help enhance classroom content. Students are given the opportunity to make relevant connections while working collaboratively with classmates in pairs or small groups. Each activity is designed to challenge the students beyond the traditional classroom setting while sparking passion and confidence in learning. The integration between classroom lessons and each STEM challenge creates authentic connections and develops a deeper learning for our students.

Middle School STEM

At the middle school level, Calvary students are immersed in activities, projects, and a problem-based styled curriculum integrated through STEM electives. Using Project Lead The Way, a nationally recognized STEM curriculum, students are exposed to real life problems and encouraged to use the engineering design process to creatively solve them. Additionally, STEM lessons relevant to various units of core classes are implemented throughout the school year to all middle school subject areas to supplement standards.

List of 3 items.

  • Design and Modeling

    Design and Modeling teaches students to think like an engineer, exposing them to orthographic and isometric sketching, 3D modeling, and the engineering design process. As a final project, students design, prototype, and build a therapeutic toy for a child with Cerebral Palsy.
  • Energy and the Environment

    Students are challenged to think critically about the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. Through collaboration, students will design and model alternative energy sources and evaluate options for reducing energy consumption. The final project includes designing and constructing a penguin dwelling using their knowledge of energy transfer to insulate and protect an ice cube penguin from melting!
  • Medical Detectives

    In the Medical Detectives course, students study the human body while learning to take vital signs, investigate outbreaks, and diagnose disease. As a final project, students step into the role of a medical detective to collect data, dissect a sheep brain, and analyze results in order to diagnose a “patient.”

Upper School STEM

High school students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to immerse themselves in STEM. Whether a student has previous experience in the design and innovation based learning promoted at the lower school and middle grade levels, or is just beginning their journey with STEM, Calvary provides STEM integration throughout all high school curricula.

List of 4 items.

  • Computer Science

    Two levels of programming classes are currently offered as electives.  Students develop logical and critical thinking skills while learning the basics of programming.  Using the Python and Java languages, students create programs that solve problems, simulate real life situations, and provide interactive game play.
  • Engineering

    Engineering opens the doors to innovation, to new discoveries, to advancements in technology.  It engages our minds to think creatively and analytically. In the engineering courses, students will have the opportunity to study different engineering disciplines, employ the engineering design process in projects related to each discipline, and to learn the tools of the trade (3D Computer Aided Design, 3D Printing, Engineering Drawing, Simulation and Analysis).  Each project is designed to help students use critical reasoning skills, work with a team, and to take an idea from concept to construction.
  • Medical Magnet (Biomedical PLTW)

    Anatomy and Physiology teaches students about the human body and demonstrates an important concept in STEM; structure determines function. Students analyze, diagram and investigate all of the human body's various systems (integumentary, muscular, nervous, digestive, reproductive, lymphatic, skeletal etc.) and learn how they all coordinate to sustain life. Students are exposed to numerous medical careers and have many opportunities to practice hands-on medical labs.
  • Physics

    In Physics, we study about the way God designed things to work and move from the largest planets in the solar system to the smallest electrons in an atom.  In the introductory course, students study kinematics and dynamics, tying Newton's Laws of Motion to the Laws of Conservation of Energy and Momentum. In the follow-on course, students learn about electricity and magnetism, including electrical circuits. They also study waves, sound, and light - how they travel and how the things we see and hear are related to their properties.  In each course, students participate in labs, demonstrations, and projects to provide interactive, hands-on reinforcement of the concepts being studied.