CDSBEO celebrates STEM learning

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By Nick Seebruch
CDSBEO celebrates STEM learning
Blair Fitzsimons and students pre-COVID. Submitted photo.

ONTARIO – The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) trustees heard a presentation from Principal of Curriculum, Nancy McIntyre that explained innovative ways that the Board was using to teach Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

“When teachers look to incorporate STEM education in their classroom, it can be overwhelming without some type of guide as there are many different tools and options to choose from,” said Principal McIntyre. “One of the ways we have been able to support our schools is through the Curriculum lending library. Through the lending library, teachers can see the impact of various STEM tools firsthand, and they are then better informed to make recommendations to their principal, and in some cases parent council.”

McIntyre lauded teacher Blair Fitzsimons of St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School in South Dundas as an example of successful ways of presenting STEM in the classroom. In October of 2020 Fitzsimons was recognized with the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM in part for his One Brick at a Time initiative which is uses LEGO to teach STEM in the classroom.

READ MORE: South Dundas teacher recognized by Prime Minister

For the past four years, the CDSBEO has taken part in Computer Science Education Week by encouraging students to take part in an Hour of Code to learn computer coding one hour a day for the week.

“When learning happens through STEM tools, students receive immediate feedback through interactive devices that travel distances, light up, make noise, simulate games, act unexpectedly and even require care and cleaning. These opportunities allow students to discover that learning and fun can go together while building life-long skills,” said McIntyre. “Even more, when it’s time for recess, Phys Ed., or even the end of the school day, a collective groan is not uncommon, with students hoping to continue learning or asking if they can do this at home. It is incredible to see how STEM can provide a desire to keep on learning.”

CDSBEO trustees were impressed by the progress made in STEM as presented by Principal McIntyre.

“Thank you so much for joining us with this update on STEM education in our schools,” said Board Chair Todd Lalonde. “It is amazing to see this learning taking place, and we are excited by the opportunities it provides for our students.”

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