Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
At Friends Christian School, we incorporate technology at our youngest grades, introducing iPads in preschool and throughout elementary school. Our focus is to leverage technology to improve student learning and to teach students how to effectively use these tools to communicate their ideas with each other. Our students learn to make their own videos and presentations. They learn how to collaborate together through Google Apps for Education, and they learn how to safely and wisely search the Internet for ideas and information. In both elementary and middle school, students have access to full computer labs in addition to individual devices in the classroom. By 7th and 8th grade, students have learned programming skills, and they have opportunity to specialize in various technology courses, including online news reporting (www.fcslionsnews.com), advanced programming, and media literacy.
STEM goes far beyond technology. We offer tiered math programs starting in 4th grade, allowing advanced students to complete math through Algebra while still in middle school. Our science program provides open-ended research opportunities, where students get to research and discover the answers to their own questions. Our award-winning robotics program (friendschristianrobotics.) teaches engineering design, problem solving, research skills and teamwork.
As with everything at FCS, our STEM program is based on a biblical perspective. Our students not only learn these STEM skills, but they are taught how to use them wisely, safely and effectively, so that they may positively impact their world for Jesus Christ.
New in 2016–2017Two significant enhancements have been implemented this year in order to augment our emphasis on science and technology. They are:
- to strengthen the integration of technology into the curriculum, each campus now has a Digital Learning Coach (DLC); and
- to create hands-on challenging science activities, Science Specialists have been added on both campuses.
Digital Learning Coaches
The DLC trains teachers in the effective use of iPads and other devices to engage and motivate students. After researching new ideas and apps, the DLC works with the teachers to increase their effectiveness in all subject areas through the use of technology. The Middle School campus DLC is Emily Omondi, who currently teaches the junior high technology electives and oversees the 5th and 6th grade computer instruction. She has been on the FCS faculty for over seven years and continues to share her gifts and expertise to benefit the middle school students. The Elementary DLC is Whitney Steiger, who was a teacher on the middle school campus for five years where she successfully used technology to enhance instruction and support student learning in the classroom.
The Science Specialists design engaging activities, experiments, and projects to spark student interest in science. All students will have the opportunity to participate in these enrichment activities, which take place in the 7th/8th grade science lab on the middle school campus under the direction of Mrs. Jenny Brown, and in the new Elementary Science Center on the Lakeview campus in H2 under the guidance of Mrs. Theresa Stull.