Regina Dominican students were introduced to a new STEAM lab when they returned to school on Aug. 20.
The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) lab is a continuation of Regina Dominican’s Vision 2020 initiative. One component of this initiative takes a look at ways the faculty and staff can implement project-based learning into the school’s strong academic curriculum. The STEAM lab has two initial components: a STEAM robotics club and a 3D printer.
In the STEAM club, students use computer-coding methods to design commands for their robots. Regina Dominican is consulting with Sue Payne, former executive of ExxonMobil, on the implementation of the robotics club. The school has been working with Payne for several years now through the Leadership Institute.
In addition to the STEAM club, the 3D printer is a perfect bridge between science and the arts. Students learn practical ways to incorporate their passion for art into careers in science and technology through the use of the 3D printer. Sandy Locher, mathematics teacher, believes the 3D printer allows students to pull subjects together in an interdisciplinary way. “Students can get more involved with project-based learning and can foster their personal interests. The STEAM lab opens the door to a more creative environment for the students to learn and grow,” said Locher.
Locher believes the STEAM lab is essential to Regina Dominican. “Girls need to be introduced at an early age to the benefits of engineering. They are motivated differently then boys. Young women are motivated by global issues. They want to feel like they are helping and improving people’s lives. Whether it is making prosthetic limbs or designing buildings that can survive hurricanes or earthquakes, they want to contribute to a bigger ideal. The STEAM lab will demonstrate how girls can tackle global issues on a local scale.”