BELMAR — St. Rose Grammar School is teaming up with the New Jersey Institute of Technology [NJIT] to build a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] program and STEM lab inside the school.
St. Rose held its first of four training sessions on June 13, with teachers being briefed on STEM from a NJIT consultant. During the in-service day, teachers learned about the program, which is designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
In his first year as principal of the school, Gregory Guito and his staff decided to develop the program from scratch, with the assistance of NJIT.
“We wanted this to be something we approached properly, so what better way than to seek help from the experts to help us develop the program the appropriate way?” Guito said. “You can’t just throw money at it and say that it just looks good. We just want to make sure we have what you call a ‘makerspace’ kind of facility. What that means is, we are making sure our children have a more experiential science curriculum.”
Guito scheduled the first orientation session to be held during the end of the semester to prepare teachers for the next school year.
Along with classroom renovations inside the school, including new lights and flooring, the second floor will receive a lab for STEM. The lab will be an outlet for students to practice the science and engineering skills they will learn in class.
“The lab is anything from art material, all the way up to robotics,” Mr. Guito said. “ We are going to make sure it is appropriate for each grade level and developmental stage, educationally.”
One staffer who attended the opening STEM session was sixth grade teacher Cindy Sluhr. She joined the St. Rose staff two years ago, but has taught for the past 18 years. This is her first experience with STEM.
“It is exciting to have the opportunity to have more resources because as teachers we are always looking for ways to build on what we are already doing,” Ms. Slur said. “As teachers we are always committed to being lifelong learners, so being able to grow ourselves, it is exciting to be in the process that we are in.”
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