Perceptions of the Active Learning Classrooms

“More people pay attention. I hardly ever see anyone playing games, or messing around with their iPad. It's just so much easier to pay attention and participate..."

Read More

iFly and STEAM Instruction

The Rockhurst Outdoors Club represents STEAM by presenting students with the opportunity to experience flight at iFLY.

Read More

AdvancED STEM Certification

STEM is a culture, not a curriculum.

Read More

Rookie All Star Robotics

Any team that is in its first year of competition is going to learn some lessons the hard way and take their fair share of lumps. Our rookie FIRST Robotics Team is no different as we have had a challenging journey to get where we are today. What started out as a challenge has grown into a process that has developed the minds of our young engineers.

Read More

Sage on the Stage to the Guide on the Side

I had a brilliant conversation with a colleague. She shared with me - and shared correctly - that teachers are the ones who make the greatest impact on student success. For this reason, teachers still need to be experts in their content area.

Read More

Stretching the Spandex of Spacetime

Sometimes, we get strange looks buying things in stores. Like the one asking why we’re buying five yards of hot red spandex using a tax-exempt form. Then there are the looks of helpless pity from homeowners just trying to fix their sink as these two people stumble through the hardware store aisles clutching an irresponsible number of 8-foot lengths of electrical conduit, knocking paint brushes from their display hooks. There are the strange looks from students as we spend five hours, attempting to assemble what appeared to passerby as a gigantic hamster wheel, only for it to snap apart over and over, vaulting PVC fittings into the air in the Barry commons.

Read More

Service Learning at Don Bosco Center

Since 1972, Rockhurst High School’s senior class has been spending the beginning two and a half weeks of January spreading out for their senior service projects. This year we invested some of our effort in a service learning educational approach to one of the projects. Moreover, since this is the year we kicked off our school’s STEAM initiative, we wanted to take on a project that brings technical experience to our students (coding specifically).

Read More

Spelunking

Recently I was invited my Luke McLellan and his boys in the Outdoor Club to join them for a spelunking trip to share some geology knowledge during the trek. I was excited for the invitation and grateful for the opportunity. What could be more “STEAM” than combining adventure and science???

Read More

Solar System Ambassador For Hire

Back in September I was notified that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was accepting applications for their Solar System Ambassador Program. I have always been fascinated with the science and engineering that has come out of JPL. JPL is the lab that is administrated by NASA at Cal Tech that has designed, developed, and managed such programs as the three Mars rovers (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity), the Dawn mission at Ceres, the Cassini mission at Saturn, the Juno mission heading to Jupiter, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Knowing this, I knew I wanted to apply to such a tremendous program.

Read More

Faith and Astronomy

I was very fortunate to travel recently to Tucson, Arizona to attend a workshop through the Vatican Observatory Foundation. The workshop was titled "Faith and Astronomy" where the objective was to discuss the relationship between the Church and science through the eyes of astronomy. As a staunch supporter of astronomy, it was an honor to attend such a workshop as it was administered by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the director of the Vatican Observatory. Brother Guy is one of the celebrities of astronomy and someone who has brought a better understanding of how the Catholic Church views advancements in science. To spend time with him over the week was a once in a career opportunity.

Read More

Research Statistics

Last November, I had the opportunity to participate in the NCSSS (National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools) conference in New York City. An acronym that contains an acronym? How meta! Rockhurst High School can learn a lot about the successes and challenges experienced by other STEM schools. Ultimately, how can Rockhurst integrate some of these innovative ideas with the non-negotiable Jesuit identity that is paramount in forming men for others?

Read More

Robotics Students Compete for Top Honors

After school on Dec. 14, the top teams competed in the finals in the Barry Commons, surrounded by fellow classmates and teachers.

Read More

God Don't Make No Junk

The algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus skills taught in the Math Department are the tools that programmers, scientists, and engineers use to describe the wondrous world our God has created. As an instructor steeped in the Jesuit tradition, I constantly remind our young sons of Ignatius to see God’s presence in all things, “God don’t make no junk.”

Read More

NSTA Conference

Recently I attended a conference in Philadelphia by the National Science Teachers Association that focused primarily on engineering. During my time at the conference I was quickly reminded that no one has “solved” STEAM, that its concept, in each individual academic community, is developed through the creativity of the teachers and designed for the needs of the student body. There is not, and there likely never will be, a national answer for STEAM that reaches the needs of all schools.

Read More

Question?

We are in the midst of an ambitious education initiative and at the very core is the important question…what is best for our students’ academic future? While acquisition of knowledge is important, what does it allow our students to do? What does it allow them to become? Does lecturing basic facts lead to skill acquisition?

Read More