WE VALUE Science-Technology-Engineering-Math
Our Science curriculum is taught by our award-winning teacher, Mr. Mark Koschmann, for all grades 1-8. His approach is very hands-on, with the students completing experiments, tests, and observations to help solidify the science concepts. See the Curriculum Guides for specific topics taught at each grade level. Each fall the 7th grade students spend 3 days at Camp Rotary with other area Lutheran school students for a hands-on exposure to “Outdoor Education”, which includes hiking, canoeing, tower-climbing, and learning about nature!
St. John’s also hosts a “Science Fair” (on alternating years other special events), where students create a hypothesis, design an experiment, run their tests or observations, and document their results. Students are required to write a paper and bring a display to justify their work during the “Science Fair Finale” event.
All students in grades 5-8 are issued a Windows-based laptop for use at St. John’s during the school year. Additionally, there is a computer lab of 14 desktop PCs located in the library. There are also 20 i-pads housed in the Grade 3/4 classroom, which are shared by Grades 1/2. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 have computer classes, taught by our Media Specialist, Mrs. Jan Sleight. Students are taught the applications in the Microsoft Office Suite beginning in grade 3; see the Curriculum Guides for specific topics taught at each grade level. Students will apply this knowledge across the curriculum to type papers and book reports in Word, create data tables and graphs in Excel, and create slide shows for verbal presentations using PowerPoint.
CODING & ENGINEERING PROGRAM
St. John’s recently added a “STEM Space” room to teach computer science coding to students in Grades 1-8; these are also taught by Mrs. Jan Sleight using the curriculum provided by CODE.ORG. The block-based coding provides the fundamentals of computer science, as well as the important skills of sequencing, problem-solving, and critical thinking. As noted in the statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics, 71% of all US jobs require digital skills. And high-skilled computing occupations are the fastest-growing, best-paying, and now the largest sector of all new wages in the US. Computer science opens more doors than any other discipline and learning the basics will help students in any career—from architecture to zoology.
St. John’s has also purchased robots which students will code to follow specific paths – requiring knowledge of mathematical distances and angles. Additionally they will use engineering principles to construct bridges, towers, etc. for use with the robots.
While the state of Michigan does not currently require public schools to teach Computer Science, there is a movement towards developing a set of state standards to bring it into the mainstream with Reading, English, Math, and Science.
Students at St. John’s are given the NWEA national math test three times per academic year. These scores are used to place students in advanced math classes as deemed appropriate and provide assistance where needed. St. John’s also sends students to the annual Delta College Middle School Math Competition to participate in this state-wide math competition.
This optional after-school program is conducted by Mr. Mark Koschmann, with a session held in the fall for students in Grades 1-4, and in the spring for Grades 5-8. Students learn more principals of Science-Math-Technology-Engineering via way of FUN hands-on experiments!
ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN SCHOOL is AHEAD of the CURVE on STEM!!!