STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
In order to develop 21st century competencies, students in kindergarten through eighth grade participate in an integrated STEM curriculum, applying scientific principles to solve real-world problems. Our curriculum is comprised of best practices in STEM education, challenging students to think analytically, critically, and creatively while engaging in scientific explorations and investigations. This inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach brings STEM concepts to life with meaningful, hands-on learning experiences that deepen our students' intellectual curiosity of the world around them. Our curriculum embraces the concept of trial and error, encouraging students to focus on the process as the vehicle for success rather than the product.
The integrated STEM curriculum at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy utilizes the Interactive Science Series and Project STEM. Students in grades 7 and 8 research in our state-of the art science lab under the direction of Mrs. Santangelo, students in grades 5 and 6 learn science in Mrs. Foy’s lab-equipped classroom, and grade 4 students have a designated Science Teacher, Mrs. Lofgren, who includes many hands-on projects in the curriculum. In grades K-3, science is incorporated into the curriculum by homeroom teachers, and features many STEM-based classroom projects, from studying the life cycle of pumpkin seeds and learning about the weather in kindergarten, to building windmills in 1st grade, the 2nd grade water purification project and 3rd grade’s owl pellet dissection.
All students in grades K-8 have Creative Thinking Skills classes in our STEM Center under the direction of Mrs. Speese, Director of STEM, working on project-based learning projects, as individuals, and also in collaborative groups.
Students are also empowered to seek experiences beyond the traditional classroom setting with additional STEM-based opportunities like Maker Spaces, Exploravision Projects for 7th and 8th grade, Critical Thinking Skills, GATE (Gifted and Talented Education), Exploratorium, Breakout Boxes and classroom STEM activity boxes.
Our 21st century, integrated STEM curriculum directly aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and reflects the mission of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy’s commitment to excellence, creating lifelong learners in a global community.