Category Archives: Blog

Celebrating Diversity

Celebrating how God created us each uniquely is a big part of our daily conversations here at North Shore Christian School. Our diversity is what makes us so special. It is not just during these long winter months (when we observe Black History month and Martin Luther King Jr. Day), that we pause, reflect, and honor the ways in which we are different. We do this all year long as it is entwined with our Biblical worldview. Here are just a few of the ways that we celebrate diversity all year.

 

  • Students and teachers share their customs, traditions, and faiths openly with each other. Our teachers work diligently to create classrooms where respect and sharing is a part of the fabric of everyday conversations. Activities studying each other’s family tree or sharing in ethnic cuisines are unique ways that we celebrate and learn from each other.
  • We learn about cultures, religions, and the rich history of people around the globe through art and music studies. Our students don’t just study the famous artists but understand the reasons behind certain types of art and music as well as how the art/music impacted each time period or people.
  • We learn about how people around the world and right in our own neighborhoods celebrate their culture through reading a wide array of literature.
  • We gain mapping and geographic understandings of the world through our Mapping from the Heart lessons.
  • We involve parents and encourage families to share their customs, and culture with our students.
  • We learn about how life is different in other countries through pen-pal writings.

 

Our teachers go above and beyond to show how special and unique each child is. One of our teachers has been kind enough to write up her lessons on Martin Luther King Jr. and how it touches each child.

I’ve always been inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t know many people who aren’t – how can you not get goosebumps when you hear his words of love over hate, peace over war, and justice over injustice? I’ve spent a few weeks during summer’s past in Jackson, Mississippi with teams of high schoolers from my church working with different mission-based organizations who are working to keep Dr. King’s dream alive, in places where remnants of racism and Jim Crow Laws can still feel like ripping off a Band-Aid. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some Civil Rights leaders in person there – even a man who marched with Dr. King many years ago. Most days, I’m not exactly sure what my part is in keeping that dream alive; however, I’ve decided that I can help this generation of children realize that their dreams, maybe even similar to those of Dr. King, have the ability to change the world.

Every January in my class we spend a lot of time studying Martin Luther King, Jr. My hope is that students will understand this man as a whole – what he stood for, how he lived his life, what his motivations were and where they came from, and that he’s not just a nice guy from history that gets a holiday named after him. We read book after book, have discussion after discussion, and even hold one white egg and one brown egg next to each other and discuss how they look different on the outside, and that may lead us to think it means one is better than the other, but then we crack them both open and find out they are exactly the same on the inside (just like people). After all of this, it seems fitting to listen to excerpts of Dr. King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech. Many students listen with dropped jaws, others listen with wonder in their eyes, and even a few have tears in their eyes. Students’ reactions to Dr. King’s dream never cease to amaze me. Children seem to understand that the color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter, that love triumphs over everything, and that the world can be a better place if we want it to be. They ask thoughtful “how” and “why” questions about the Civil Rights Movement, and there seems to be an energy in the room – a sense that something is brewing.

The culmination of our study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is when students are asked to reflect on Dr. King’s dream, and then to ask themselves, “Do I have a dream? What is it? How would my dream make this world a better place?” Year after year, I have been blown away and even brought to tears by the dreams of these children for a better world. A world that doesn’t know war, poverty, hostility, and judgement. A world full of laughter instead of tears, friends instead of enemies, and lovers instead of haters. Last year we sent a collection of our own “I Have a Dream” speeches to influential leaders, such as State Representatives, Governors, local college Presidents, and even the President of the United States. The thing about a dream is that if you don’t share it with others, it may never happen. We decided that our dreams mattered, and that others deserved to hear them!

I sit here in eager anticipation of what my this year’s class will declare their dreams are. Later this week I’ll find out, and I’ll be sure to let you know what they say. I’m confident that this generation of children can and will change the world with their dreams. I see glimpses of it happening everyday in places like our classroom, the hallways, and in the lunchroom. Dr. King had a dream that was bigger than he could see. He believed in something greater than himself. Dr. King dared to dream. Can we do the same? Can we inspire this generation of children to do the same?

If Dr. King were here today in my classroom, I’d thank him for sharing his dream with the world. What a difference it has made, and what an inspiration it remains to this day.

And to the kids in my class, I say, dream on.

 

Ms. Liz MacDavitt – 3rd & 4th Grade at NSCS Beverly

Benefits of Being a Student Athlete

The excitement is palpable as the timer ticks down at the end of any soccer match or basketball game. Will they get that last basket or shot in the net? No matter what the scoreboard reads when the buzzer goes off, however, there are a multitude of benefits just to have been a part of the game. For our student athletes here at North Shore Christian School, the lessons they learn on the playing fields are an extension of our classroom instruction. Win or lose, our coaches encourage our students to learn (and transfer) those valuable lessons on the court or field that they can use in life. Here are just a few of the benefits of being a NSCS student athlete.

 

  • Students learn how to honor God on the court or field by learning humility, grace, perseverance, and sometimes even forgiveness. The “Three P’s” of persistence, patience, and practice are valuable on the field, in the classroom, and in honoring God throughout life.
  • Students who participate in sports tend to do better in school. Skills such as time management, goal-setting, and determination can be transferred into actions in the classroom as well as valuable assets on the court/field. While some parents are concerned with the time commitment of sports, students learn how to balance school and sports fairly quickly. In addition, multiple studies have found that the exercise alone can improve learning, memory, and concentration.
  • Students learn about teamwork and goal-setting when they are a member of an athletic team. Communication, problem solving, and cooperation are all skills that are fine tuned during practices and games. Students also learn how to create a sense of community, build each other up, encourage each other and work with their strengths.
  • Students learn leadership skills as they mentor younger players, encourage team members, and set an example for others.
  • The health benefits of being part of an athletic team are not limited to the physical advantages such as cardiovascular health or maintaining a healthy weight, but also have been known to be a natural mood booster.

 

I am reminded of what Helen Keller said about working together, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  Being a part of a team here at NSCS is a valuable way to learn important skills, make some lasting friendships, and a way to participate and enjoy a healthy active lifestyle.

First Grade – “Outstanding Wise Learners” O.W.L.S

By Janelle Sweet

 

This year I am reaching several milestones in my life. One is that I am nearing my 25th year as an educator. Another is that I am also very close to being an “empty nester” in my home. One thing many years of teaching children in and out of my home has shown me is the value of a Christian education. At NSCS I am able to teach not only for academic growth, but also to help students grow in their biblical knowledge and in the truths of God’s Word. One of the (many) things I love about teaching first grade is that it is a foundation building year. Students in this grade are learning routines and schedules and skills that they will need for the next 12+ years of school. This foundation has as its goal giving students the skills to succeed as unique and caring individuals. It thrills me to be able to wrap God’s truths around that foundation. It is true, our classroom theme is owls. And yes, I may have a few too many owl “things” but that is because our goal is to truly be Outstanding Wise Learners (O.W.L.S) who work hard and play well with the intention of bringing glory to God.

In our first grade classroom, we are very busy learners. Literacy is woven into all the subjects we study: math, social studies, science, Bible, and of course language arts! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to teach reading and writing. Each fall when I begin with a new class, I consider it a blessing to be able to teach the next generation. Whether we are learning to read, memorizing a new international greeting in the morning, or adding hearts to our heart chart, I am able to weave God’s word into our lessons. For example, when I explain to children each fall that they will grow to be stronger readers during the first grade year, I remind them that this will enable them to read and study God’s word all by themselves! Another example is learning in science the many facets of God’s amazing creation that are woven into all of our KnowAtom science units.

In first grade, we are really excited about our Bible lessons. Galations 5:22 – 23 says, “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.” This year, we are studying the fruit of the spirit. We have been spending two to three weeks on each of these fruit by singing new choruses, adding to our Bible journals and completing activities. It is most rewarding to hear my first graders refer to one of the fruit of the spirit lessons during the course of any given day. Just yesterday, our schedule had an

interruption and I asked my students what heart attitude they thought we needed and a chorus of voices shouted, “Patience!” Today, we talked about the patience God has with us which led into a conversation of repentance and forgiveness and the scripture, “His mercies are new every morning!”

In addition to our Bible lessons, first graders are learning prayers. At the beginning of the school year, the first grade handed out prayer request and service request sheets to each classroom and staff in our school. Every two weeks or so, we choose a name from our cup of fairness sticks. The labels on the sticks include all of the classrooms and staff in our school building. For example, they recently picked a class for whom they prayed for two weeks and washed down the room tables as requested. These children are PRAYER WARRIORS! We have been blessed to hear and see how some of our prayers have been answered.

Finally, First Graders have been faithful in an overseas ministry. They have been praying for Piyush, a young Kindergarten student in India. Recently, they mailed letters to Piyush and he in return made a Christmas card for them! I listen to my friends pray for Piyush every single school day (and they pray for him in the morning, at snack and at lunch)!

As we embark on the year 2018, we in first grade will continue to grow academically and spiritually setting a foundation to be outstanding, wise learners with the goal of bringing glory to God!

STEM Saturday

For most of us growing up, Saturday mornings were meant for sleeping in or watching mindless cartoons for hours on end. School on a Saturday was unheard of and not even on our radar. However, ask any of our students here at NSCS about attending school on a Saturday studying things like science, technology, engineering, or math and their eyes light up and there is a palpable excitement to the potential adventure that awaits. At NSCS, STEM Saturdays mean exploration, investigation, critical thinking, problem solving, and doing amazing experiments with friends, mentors and teachers. Last month our students had the opportunity to sign up for STEM Saturday to pursue the study of propulsion, light, energy, matter, density, and ocean salinity. Here are some of the activities and experiments that we engaged in during our last STEM Saturday.

 

In January, our STEM Saturday, began by breaking students into three groups by grade to take part in age appropriate activities and experiments. Our youngest learners joined our second grade teacher, Ms. Patton, in the study of propulsion. Each child was given materials that, when combined, would create a simple car driven by the power of a twisted rubber band and a propeller. After decorating and constructing each car, the students had a chance to test out the dynamics of how fast and far their car would travel given the number of times the rubber band was twisted. They quickly learned that the more tension and twists given to the band, the further they could get their cars to go. By the end of morning, the group met in the hallway to see just whose car could travel the furthest. Ask your students about this experiment and just how far the cars went.

 

Our third, fourth, and fifth graders joined Ms. Gourley, in the exploration of refraction of light. The students began by learning about how a light refracts and how the angle of that refraction can be changed. They also found out about terms such as transparency, translucency, and opaqueness. Then they were given a problem or scenario to solve. The scenario asked the students to be engineers who must design a tool that allows patrons at a library to see the titles of books on the highest shelves without using a ladder or stool. Once they were given a few materials including: poster board, dowels, two mirrors, paper, and a flashlight, they began their design journey that, for most, turned into a type of periscope that used the knowledge that they learned about light refraction to see the books on the tip top shelves! Ask your students how they used the mirrors in their particular periscope.

 

Our middle schoolers worked with Ms. Stutz to delve into the topic of water density and how the level of displacement is affected by salinity. Once students did some initial investigation about how an object displaces water differently according to the density of that water, they began their scenario. The middle schoolers were asked to think like an engineer and scientist to design and create three prototypes of boats that would be tested for the ability to float and hold “cargo” (marbles) in two “oceans” (tubs of water)  that differ in their level of salinity. Our intrepid scientists began by examining the materials they could use, brainstorming a boat design and then building it based on what they had just learned. As each student tested their prototypes in the ocean, the group came together to cheer each student and boat on. Ask your student what designs worked and what designs sunk.

 

Join us next time we host a STEM Saturday and find out how fun school can be – even on a Saturday!

The Benefits of Literacy Centers

One of the great joys of teaching at the elementary level is watching a young child learn to read. It is amazing to witness the “light going off” and the world of reading coming alive for each of our students. One of the ways that we help encourage the process of learning the multitude of phonics rules, decoding, encoding, writing, comprehension, and so many sight words is through the targeted practice achieved during literacy centers. During our literacy block our students visit literacy centers where they complete activities or work designed with a specific purpose in mind. Since students in each classroom vary greatly in their literacy needs and ability levels, these centers give multiple opportunities for children to read, write, and participate in meaningful literacy experiences. Let’s first take a closer look one of our second grade classes during literacy block and then examine how these centers are a benefit to the whole class.

During a recent visit to Ms. Stuart’s second grade at NSCS in Lynn, students began their literacy block with a whole group “read aloud” of The Three Snow Bears by author Jan Brett. Over the past week the students have been reading and story mapping literature that is similar to the original story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in anticipation of comparing and contrasting the differing versions through use of a Venn Diagram. After discussing the characters, setting, events, problem, and ultimate solution of this version of the story students then broke into small groups to work on their literacy centers. During this time some students focused on activities that reviewed trick words and words that were in the stories, while other students worked independently on Lexia Learning online. The final group of students had the opportunity to work closely with Ms. Stuart on reading, comprehension, and phonics rules such as “R” controlled vowels. Within the span of just an hour students were able to read (independently and with the teacher), practice vocabulary, discuss the story, review phonemic skills online, and collaborate with team members on activities linked to the concept for the day!

Literacy centers will be different in every classroom depending on the skill and concept being taught. Overall however, researchers and education experts can agree that there are many benefits to Literacy Centers. Here are a few. . .

  • Literacy covers so many things including reading, writing, listening, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Literacy centers allow teachers the ability to weave these skills together at a level that each child can manage through lessons at each center.
  • After a teacher has introduced a new skill or concept, literacy centers can reinforce that skill/concept by giving each student a chance to practice and apply that knowledge at a level that is appropriate for him or her.
  • While students are working either with a partner, group, or independently at each center, the teacher has the opportunity to work with guided reading groups or observe, listen, or answer questions about what is being learned. This informal observation of students allows teachers to see where students are in the learning process. Since students work at each center either individually or with other students, skills such as collaboration, cooperation, and self-discipline can occur as well.
  • Literacy centers keep students engaged and motivated as they explore, invent, discover, or create. These activities foster connections to the literature, concept, or skill.
  • Since students have many practice and application opportunities during literacy centers, they can take risks and build their confidence without the fear of failure that often occurs in a large group setting.
  • In using centers, teachers are able to differentiate instruction to meet each student’s needs and respond to their reading more effectively.  

While literacy centers can be done in a variety of formats and methods, teachers, students and the entire classroom community benefit from them on a daily basis. Ask your child what they learned during literacy centers today.

 

Nurturing a Giving Spirit All Year

Now that the holidays are behind us and a new year has begun, it is easy to look back at the Christmas season and see how our wonderful students, teachers, and families participated wholeheartedly in the giving spirit through individual donations to school sponsored events or through giving of your time and energy in your own special ways. While we love to see the “giving spirit” at Christmas time when so much love and joy is bestowed upon all of us, we also hope to instill in our students here at North Shore Christian School the idea that giving should not end when the decorations are taken down and the Christmas songs have ended. Soup kitchens still need volunteers, nursing homes still have seniors in need of love and compassion, and charities across our region and country need support all year long. This is why we strive to nurture a giving spirit in our students not just during the holiday season but during all seasons.

 

In order to achieve this students at North Shore Christian School take part in so many activities of giving and selflessness throughout the school year and during vacations. Here are just a few of the ways that we savor giving back and volunteering in our community and beyond.

 

  • Our annual Haiti Shoebox Project is led by our 3rd and 4th grade students at the NSCS Beverly Campus. This is geared to provide children of Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, with items such as hygiene products, small toys, and school supplies.
  • NSCS students often visit and volunteer at My Brother’s Table, a soup kitchen in Lynn, Massachusetts, that serves over 300 people a day, seven days a week. Many times we visit we bring homemade cookies.
  • Our students host a pajama drive for those in need and donate to local organizations.
  • We regularly donate to Puritans Purse. This is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
  • One of of greatest joys is visiting the local nursing homes to be companions, recite poems, sing songs, and make small gifts with and for the residents.
  • We write to and pray for our student pen pals in India.
  • In the days and months after the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico we collected food and raised funds for the people of the island.
  • Beverly Boots Strap – Students hope to host a food drive this spring.  All canned goods will be delivered by students to our Beverly local food bank.
  • A Baby Wipe Drive will be happening the month of February, as our students show a little LOVE to local mothers in need of baby supplies.
  • This spring NSCS will partner with the Second Congregational Church of Beverly and raise funds to purchase grocery store gift cards for homeless people in the area.
  • Our 5th & 6th Grade students get a shout out for faithfully serving our school community each day as they set-up and clean-up after our lunch periods.
  • Our 3rd Grade students get a shout out for faithfully acting as Reading Buddies to our preschool students each week!

 

It is always a joy to watch the students, even the very young ones, grow in their ability to serve.  We find that as they are provided with opportunities to do so, they begin to desire to do more.  And as they continue serving and giving they experience the blessing received from such altruistic behavior and attitudes.  Of course, we believe that serving and giving is also an opportunity to demonstrate our love for God.  Our students recognize that they have privileges that are not afforded to other children, be it in America, or elsewhere around the globe, and so cultivating a heart that gives and serves make the world a better place.  While we can’t change everything that is wrong with the world, our students are learning that they can make impact, small and large, and they do so with one small act of kindness at a time.

 

Get to Know the “KnowAtom” Curriculum

In response to research by the National Science Foundation and governmental studies showing the increased job growth and innovation in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), many schools across our national have chosen to use STEM curriculum guidelines to help their students become critical thinkers, understand science literacy, and keep up with the global growth and innovation in these four critical areas. North Shore Christian School has chosen the KnowAtom Program as our STEM curriculum for grades K through 8.

 

The KnowAtom curriculum is a yearlong, hands-on discovery of science, engineering, technology, and math, all with real-life scenarios and storylines students naturally connect with. Each experiment allows them to investigate and eventually design their own solutions to each problem/issue based upon their research and experimentation. The curriculum is based upon research and recommendations of the National Research Council, and is designed to inspire the creativity and scientific skills of each student. Students love that they are tasked with solving problems such as finding out how a space satellite can survive the temperature changes in outer space, or how meteorologists can predict weather phenomena specific to our region.

 

Our teachers love that the curriculum comes with online and in-person support, training, and coaching so they can get the most out of every unit. In each KnowAtom kit come the tools, materials, and consumables that correspond with each unit. The hands-on lessons are grade-specific and include: formative and summative assessments, digital resources, grade-specific readings, and are specific to our state requirements. Nothing is better for teachers than having the tools they need to inspire our students to learn more about the world around them.

 

Here are just a few of the ways that STEM is being used in our classrooms. Ask your children about their latest experiments and how they solved the problem discussed.

 

  • Our first grade recently dissected owl pellets to find out what their habitat provides for them. The experiments showed even the youngest learners how habitats provide everything needed and how scientists can discover this from examining the pellets.
  • In second grade the students explored and studied landforms. They asked the question, how are rivers and streams formed?  To answer this they constructed a hill and put frozen ice dyed with blue food coloring to observe how water moves downhill and then collects to form rivers and streams. They also made bouncy balls while investigating properties of matter when they explored solids and liquids.  
  • Third grade students explored and researched structures. As one of their activities they designed and constructed their own traditional Native American longhouse.
  • Our fourth grade students also explored structures. They created structures using toothpicks and analyzed the load each structure was able to carry.  Additionally, the students needed to decide if structures should be certain heights or widths to carry various weight loads.
  • The fifth grade tracked earthquakes and volcanoes, then analyzed how those earthquakes and volcanic episodes relate to the placement of the tectonic plates.  
  • Our middle school students researched weather data for a certain city and created a forecast based upon their findings including: temperature, barometric pressure, potential precipitation, and extreme weather phenomena specific to the area they chose.
  • Our middle school students also examined space satellites and how they handle the extreme changes in temperature.
  • During our STEM Saturday (Grades 2-8), students explored sound waves.  For instance, what is the length of the fishing line produces a high/low sound or louder/softer sound?  The students also made their own speakers out of recycled materials, connecting the speakers to an iPhone as they listened to music.

Mastering Math with Manipulatives

Civilizations across the globe including ancient Chinese villages, marketplaces in early Greece, and theaters in Roman cities all used manipulatives to solve everyday math problems. Whether they were clay beads, wooden trays, or the original abacus counters, these items served as the first manipulatives to help people understand the sometimes complex concepts of math. Today manipulatives have come to be considered essential in teaching mathematics at all grade levels. The manipulatives may have changed and evolved to include fraction strips, geoboards, spinners, coins, place value mats, and pattern blocks to name a few, but the goal is the same: to help students use a hands-on concrete object to introduce, understand, practice, or remediate math concepts.

The educational foundation for using math manipulatives is supported by the learning theory research completed by Jean Piaget. According to Piaget, children are active learners who master concepts by progressing through three levels of knowledge–concrete, pictorial or representative, and abstract. By using manipulatives, students can explore a math concept in a concrete way that will help them not only internalize the concept but also allow them to understand “why” a math procedure makes sense. For example, students using fraction strips can visibly see that 4/8 is equal to 3/6 by looking at each strip and seeing that the same amount is there, just broken up into different fraction amounts. We have seen it first hand in our classrooms here at North Shore Christian School, that children are allowed to explore and deeply understand complex math ideas by first using the concrete manipulatives. Let’s take a look at the benefits of using math manipulatives in our classrooms.

Concrete Representations – Students who work with a physical object will better understand what they are learning. By actively engaging with the manipulatives, the students can see how a math concept can be broken down into smaller parts representing actual items.
Engagement – Educators have known for decades that “paper and pencil” work reaches only a certain percentage of their students. By engaging senses of sight and touch, manipulatives reach a wider range of learners, such as those who don’t perform well on paper-and-pencil tasks.
Problem Solving Skills – Students who solve math problems only on paper must wait for a teacher to tell them whether their answer is correct, while students who use manipulatives can see a real life representation of the problem right in front of them and s/he has the tools to figure out the answer with the manipulatives.
Enjoyment and Confidence – Studies have shown that students have a higher confidence level in their math skills and their ability to solve a problem on their own than students only using paper and pencil tasks. And let’s face it, there is no contest when it comes to enjoyment level of working with colorful blocks, spinners, or dice rather than a math worksheet.

North Shore Christian School uses many math manipulatives at different grade levels to help students advance from concrete learners to those who understand more complex abstract math ideas. If you are looking for more resources on math manipulatives or the research behind it, we have provided several links below.

Teacher Vision – Using Math Manipulatives

Hand2Mind Resources Understanding the Research Behind Manipulatives

 

4 Reasons Why Class Size Matters

In our highly competitive world we often hear the phrase, “the bigger, the better”.  While this may be true for certain material items in our lives, in the world of classroom size and teacher-student ratios, sometimes smaller is more beneficial for the students, teachers, and school community as a whole. If your child feels more like a number rather than a vital member of the class family, then maybe you should reconsider why class size really matters. Here are four reasons why we believe smaller truly is better.

 

  • Academic Performance – Numerous studies have been done to assess the impact of class size on student achievement. According to the National Council of Teachers of English and the Department of Education, research shows that students in smaller classes perform better in all subjects and on all assessments when compared to their peers in larger classes. In smaller classes students tend to be as much as one to two months ahead in content knowledge, and they score higher on standardized assessments.
  • Student Engagement – Academic performance is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to measuring student success. In smaller class settings, students have the opportunity to speak up and be heard among their peers. Interactions at school can help build self-confidence and public speaking skills, not to mention the ability to adapt to intellectual and educational challenges.
  • Tailored Instruction – Teachers who have fewer children in the classroom have the advantage of tailoring instruction, activities, and assignments to the students in their classrooms no matter the differences in skill and ability.
  • Classes Become a CommunityWith fewer students per class, individuals can connect more closely with their peers and become more confident and comfortable when it comes to sharing their ideas and perspectives. These connections lead to lasting friendships. A unique aspect of North Shore Christian School is that not only do the children gain the benefits of a tightly-knit classroom community, but they also have the ability to get to know children in other classes beyond their own, thus broadening their friendship community.

 

Why STEM Education is so Important

The acronym STEM, short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, isn’t just one of the new education buzzwords that will be heard during your child’s school career, but it is one that will impact the U.S. and global economy for years to come. In a world that is becoming increasingly science- and tech-centric, the lens through which our students look at the world has become more focused on these four main areas. Therefore, learning the importance of these curriculum areas for your children is critically important for many reasons. Let’s take a closer look at STEM and the relevance and value it holds in our community today.

 

  • Cultivation of STEM Skills – When schools like NSCS follow a STEM curriculum students learn essential skills such as problem solving, analytical thinking, and the ability to work independently. Students who are encouraged to take part in hands-on experimentation find that they can support a claim with evidence, have increased intellectual curiosity, use data-driven decision making skills, creativity, and flexibility. These skills are not only higher level thinking skills, but also skills that will serve our students well in furthering their education beyond our walls as well as into the workforce.

 

  • Job Opportunities and Strengthening the Economy – According to the U. S. Department of Commerce (DOC), STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while others are growing at 9.8%. The studies within the DOC all acknowledge that STEM is where the job market is heading. Without a workforce that can take on these jobs, our economy could falter. With a STEM education, students are encouraged to think deeply so that they have the chance to become the innovators, tech experts, scientists, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world.

 

  • Making a Difference in the World – As children of God, our focus is not just for our well being or statistics regarding the economy or jobs, but also about making a difference for those in need. STEM careers are truly “helping” professions that build communities and transform nations. These professionals are in charge of solving the complex problems of today’s world and its future. They are working to find solutions for global warming, cancer, third world hunger, disappearing habitats, and an interdependent world economy.

 

  • Bridging the Ethnic and Gender Gap – According to the website Engineering for Kids, “STEM education helps to bridge the ethnic and gender gaps sometimes found in math and science fields. Initiatives have been established to increase the roles of women and minorities in STEM-related fields. STEM education breaks the traditional gender roles.”

(Source: Department of Education)

Please visit our Facebook page and return to our blog as we cover some classroom STEM in Action examples and how they are impacting our NSCS students.