The Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) initiative at FBCA is a collaborative effort with a single mission: produce a God-honoring, cohesive, cutting-edge program that engages learners through riveting, relevant and competitive curriculum. The goal is to yield learners equipped to be problem-solving leaders in college and industry.
Rebecca Morgan, FBCA Science Specialist, heads the STEM initiative at the elementary campus.
“We consider it an honor and privilege to be assisting our learners in establishing foundational thinking skills that will allow them to continue to grow for their entire life,” Mrs. Morgan said.
Most of the learning is done by touching, discussing and getting feedback.
“We find there is a much higher rate of engagement if learners are emotionally, kinetically, mentally and sometimes even morally and ethically invested in what they are studying,” Mrs. Morgan said.
Animals are a key component of the elementary curriculum. Mrs. Morgan says this allows for the children to learn responsibility, observation, and investment in care of the Earth so that the animals we are entrusted with are cared for properly.
The animals in each grade level include:
Pre-kindergarten - Pill Bugs (Observation skills)
Kindergarten - Hedgehogs and ladybugs (Conservation and insect life cycles)
1st - Tadpoles (Incomplete metamorphosis & responsibility)
2nd - Caterpillars, Chrysalises, & Butterflies (Complete metamorphosis of insects & stewardship of both plants and animals as they also care for the butterfly garden)
3rd - Chicks (Stewardship and animal life cycle. They observe the eggs, the hatching and the first weeks of a chicks' life)
4th - Millipedes, Fiddler crabs, and Dwarf aquatic frogs (Observation of aquatic, terrestrial and combined habitats. Learners actually design and make the habitats.)
In addition to animal care, all grades help maintain the campus garden which features eggplants, tomatoes, squash, various peppers, cilantro, parsley, rosemary and watermelons.
The STEM initiative also incorporates modern tools for learning. In the library, students can enjoy augmented reality, new 3D technology that allows pictures to leap from pages. The library also hosts various speakers throughout the year.
“We teach the students how to think beyond the base level of memorization," said Mrs. Morgan. "Instead, we use science, technology, engineering, math, and even art (no subject is excluded) to allow them to hone higher-level thinking skills. The happy byproduct of this methodology is that they are equipped to do whatever they wish in life with clarity and confidence.”