Teaching for the 21st Century

In recent years, our education system has moved away from the arts toward the sciences, a switch that is arguably appropriate given that careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) have grown at almost twice the rate of others. 

Calvary Christian Academy, however, does not impose a choice between art or science, but rather provides opportunities for students to focus on either or both.

As a school with a strong focus on the arts, athletics, academics, and spiritual discipleship, the Fort Lauderdale PreK through 12th grade school has made significant investments to stay on the cutting edge by integrating technology across the board, from elementary school through high school.

“The STEM Endorsement program offers biomedical and engineering tracks that go beyond the more abstract general science classes to be hands-on and practical, like you’d see in the field, so that students can be ahead of the curve by the time they leave high school and head for college. For me and the counseling team handling the schedule, it’s the STEM classes that fill up first,” said CCA’s Lead School Counselor, Will Ortiz.
 
Technological advancement has left no stone unturned, be it culturally or educationally, and as a result, CCA considers the investment not only worthwhile but essential in order to produce the highest trained students in the STEM space, who are also equipped to serve their world and understand how these elements need to be integrated into that world.

. . . students can be ahead of the curve by the time they leave high school and head for college.
“One of the things I love about having a STEM program is how it facilitates very 21st-century skills: learning to problem-solve, learning to fail in constructive ways, learning to think outside the box and be creative, and to work in teams, and we’re teaching them even in elementary," said Laura Quinn, CCA’s STEM Coordinator and Assistant High School Administrator. “And not just in high school. After a successful pilot program last year, we introduced a full STEM curriculum—Project Lead The Way—from Pre-K – 5th grade, that touches on engineering, programming, robotics, and biomedical sciences.”

These are not your computer classes of even 5 years ago!
 
“This year, the engineering lab got 20 very high end Dell computers, thousands of dollars worth of software, tens of thousands of dollars in robotics gear, a 3D printer, and lots of power tools,” said STEM Head of Department, Jeff Green. Because of investments like this, students get a jumpstart on discovering their academic and career passions, whether they want to be a brilliant surgeon, an engineer—or an artist.


Originally written for Spectator Magazine.
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