Why I started a STEM Club at our Classical School
- January 07, 2021
- Steve Macias
I lead various classes and after school clubs at Canterbury – our parish’s classical school. I teach the Bible in Chapel, instruct P.E., and various campus clubs and programs. One of them is a STEM club which is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
A few years back when I first arrived at Canterbury, a parent shared with me that he felt our school’s liberal-arts based curriculum was too light in the hands-on sciences department. He was concerned about his child’s exposure to the sciences and cultivating early interest. I wanted to fix that.
My Science Background
As a student I was really into science – I was one of the few students in my high school that took two sciences courses senior year. A physics class plus a biotechnology class for “fun.” That second class actually earned me a certificate in California’s “Regional Occupational Program” although I never used it for anything. It also gave me the opportunity to participate in the school’s “Science Decathlon” trip to Grossmont College near San Diego. I also won an award from UC Davis for my project on “Proteomics” in their Teen Biotech Challenge. But I became a priest and didn’t continue any science education post my undergraduate courses.
STEM Club at our Low Tech School
Our campus is low-tech. Intentionally so. You won’t find computers or Ipads in our classrooms. But I decided that an after school STEM club would be the perfect solution to protect the classical classroom, while also allowing our students explore the sciences in new ways. We’ve built robots, rollercoasters, and volcanos – plus lots of other fun experiments and projects. My group’s age ranges from Kindergarten to Fifth grade, so it is always exciting for me to see how different students grasp the various concepts at their stage of development.
The local paper ran an article about our low-tech approach a few years back: https://www.losaltosonline.com/news/sections/schools/210-school-features/59216-silicon-valley-schools-reject-tech