St. Peter R.C. School has been formally accepted into Cohort 4 of the Buffalo Diocese STREAM initiative. "STREAM" is an integrated approach to education that brings science, technology, religion, engineering the arts and mathematics to all students in all grades. The goal is to better prepare students for successful careers in the 21st century workforce.
"STREAM is about doing, making, creating and connecting with community. It's also about infusing religion and technology across all subjects and utilizing creativity in the process," said Ann Yarussi, St. Peter's STREAM coordinator. "This approach cements learning in ways traditional classroom lessons cannot. It also creates a runway for students to be the next generation of believers, innovators, scientists and leaders."
Training for St. Peter's faculty and staff kicked off at the end of last year's school year. With STREAM, technology is now a part of all classes and curriculums from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. For instance, the school is using reading resources such as "Reading A-Z," "Starfall" and "ABC Mouse" to enhance literacy development in the primary grades. Likewise, middle school students will complete assignments and experience virtual fieldtrips through the "Nearpod" online program.
In addition, in the classroom, an inquiry-based approach to daily lessons is encouraged. Students will also be making career connections, as well, with exposure to a variety of working professionals and their fields, which helps to answer the "Why are we learning this?" question.
Outside the classroom, St. Peter's has also launched fall and spring STREAM academies to target complex thinking skills and encourage creativity. Some examples of these include a cooking club for primary grades and "Invention Convention," where third- through fifth-graders learn how to invent their own products. They also include chorus and drama clubs, as well as participation in the Future City Competition, which tasks students with imagining, researching, designing and building cities of the future.