In recent years the science curriculum at Loyola has undergone a review process to update teaching and learning methodologies and align course offerings with the current demand for more experiential and integrated learning.
"STEAM, or cross-disciplinary learning, gives students a more holistic understanding of how the world works," says Loyola Academy Principal Charlie Heintz. "It teaches students how to use the skills and processes gained through the study of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics to think deeply, ask questions, and solve complex problems."
One of the most significant changes was positioning the study of physics in a student's freshman year, followed by chemistry and biology in sophomore and junior years. Additional improvements include the construction of a 21st-century laboratory space in January 2019—made possible by a gift from Sue and Tim Sullivan and named in honor of former science teacher Rev. Peter W. Breslin, SJ; a flexible classroom think tank equipped with an interactive SMART board and mobile hexagonal desks; a makerspace with 3D printers, a programmable robot called Sphero and other tools and materials; revised course registration and selection; and increased investment in new technology and professional development opportunities for our teachers.
And with the new lineup of course we have on deck, students will have new opportunities to dig deeper into STEAM, make connections across different fields, and develop skills such as the ability to think and read critically, work collaboratively, interpret data confidently, communicate effectively, write confidentially, solve problems creatively and embrace new knowledge as technology continues to evolve.
"We are so excited to offer students a range of course selections that not only engage students in the scientific process, but also in engineering practices," notes Science Department Chair Marissa Cervantes-Flores. "Experiencing STEAM will provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills which is authentic to their learning experience and representative of the world we're preparing students to enter."