The Science Curriculum at St. Paul Lutheran School is a hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learning happens through hands-on investigations. Students are asked to use evidence and reasoning to support claims, engage in the engineering process to design solutions, and work in teams to solve problems. Students’ learning is enhanced by digital resources such as on-line text books, videos, simulations, and in the elementary an interactive textbook. Laptops are used for research, writing, interactive activities and virtual labs. All our students learn to see the beauty of God’s creation with the inquiring minds of budding scientists and engineers.
The S.T.E.M. program is a robotics program for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The program we use for 6th grade STEM is LEGO education's Simple and Powered Machines. The students use investigation and problem-solving skills to design, make models, and observe the behavior of these models. The curriculum is designed for students to work in partners, collaborating as they work towards the same goal. The 7th grade program uses Lego NXT Mindstorm to follow a series of pre-designed programs to help in understanding how to program a robot. The 8th grade program uses the more advanced Lego EV3 robots, where students do the programming themselves. The students discuss how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are part of programming robots to perform simple and complex tasks.
Students must meet the following criteria for S.T.E.M.: The students need to be on track for Algebra as an 8th grader or Pre-Algebra as a 7th grader. The student needs to have an A or B average for the school year in the academic areas of science and math. The student needs to have a 7, 8, or 9 Stanine on the SAT test in the areas of science and math. The student must have a minimum GPA of 3.50 for the school year. The student must also demonstrate good behavior throughout the school year in order to be considered for the program and show a high level of reliability and responsibility.