Christ Academy adds STEAM labs for elementary students


On the first day of school Thursday, students at Christ Academy will begin learning new critical thinking and problem-solving skills to better prepare them later in life.

The new discovery labs will be for students ages three to second grade and will teach basic STEAM principles and the STEAM labs will be for students in grades third through fifth.

The idea for bringing the STEAM concepts to the younger students at Christ Academy is something teachers have wanted and have been working toward for some time.

“We’ve thought about it for several years,” Karie Levell, who teaches 3-year-old students at Christ Academy. “It’s been a dream. Mrs. Barnes and I kind of presented this and thought I don’t know if this can happen if this can be a reality. But when we realized it could be, we spent the majority of last spring and most of the summer up here just preparing.”

Teaching the students these skills and principles at such a young age will help prepare them for the rest of school and for jobs later in life,

“We are creating skills that they are going to need to be tomorrow’s global learners,” said Tasha Barnes, 11st-grade teacher. “If we prepare them now with all these skills, they will be able to enter the workforce when they graduate high school and be prepared for any job that is thrown at them.”

The students are ready for the chance to use all of the new technology in the labs.

“Crazy excited. I really want to learn what hose yellow things are in the pen. I think it’s like a charger or battery thing, but I am not sure I’ll have to ask my teacher about it,” said Elizabeth East, a student at Christ Academy.

Carolyn Issa, the department head for upper elementary, said the way the steam lab is set up and the items they are using in it could help the students stay more focused in class

“They are going to really enjoy experiencing things they already use a little bit,” Issa said. “They are growing up with these electrics and iPads and computers, so it is coming to their world and making it much more fun and engaging with all these things they are a little used to using but we are taking it a lot farther.”

These new labs will help the students learn the skills they need to face challenges down the road. All of the students will spend at least two days each week for a minimum of 60 minutes. 

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