Fontbonne Hall and Visitation Academies are bringing some serious girl power to the STEM education system. The two Ridge all-girl schools have teamed up and created a partnership that will allow students to reap the benefits of the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum the STEM program has to offer, at all stages of their education.
“With an emphasis on science and technology taught through Project-Based Learning, we are STEM now,” said Fontbonne Principal Mary Ann Spicijaric. “Our students are engaged, and they learn in small classes filled with smart young women.”
In incorporating the STEM system into the school’s curriculum, ninth graders at Fontbonne take an Advanced Physical Science course—a class that combines chemistry and physics and is taught through creatively solving problems at hand.
The school also plans to add a mandatory engineering component to the Advanced Physical Science course in 2016 and offers a variety of AP science courses and electives—including a pre-college engineering program with Brown University.
In terms of teaming up with Visitation Academy, Fontbonne Hall plans to create a fundamentals course for seventh and eighth graders so that they are “especially well-prepared” for Fontbonne’s science courses, according to the schools.
Additionally, at Visitation, students have already been exposed to the hands-on STEM learning system and have experience with 3D printers; some students even participate in Fontbonne’s Girls Who Code club.
“Our girls have a better understanding of real-world applications of problem-solving in this blended learning environment,” said Visitation Principal Arlene Figaro. “Our STEM classroom lives by the motto, ‘We learn; we touch the future.’”