The Story of STREAM at Frassati Catholic Academy
Frassati Catholic Academy is proud to be a STREAM school. STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The program was designed by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) based on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) programs gaining ground in public and private school districts nationwide. The STREAM model adds the elements of Religion and the Arts to create a well-rounded education.
In 2013, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Mary Kane asked the principals and pastors of the two parishes if the STREAM model might be appropriate for the Frassati Catholic Academy. After meeting with representatives of St. Catherine University’s STEM program, they decided creating a STREAM school would be a fantastic opportunity.
Creating a STREAM school is an investment, so the principals applied for grants and spoke with organizations to raise money for the endeavor. The plans were shared with teachers and they were very interested in the prospect.
Principal Patrick Gallivan leads the school in the STREAM model of learning, along with social studies, language arts, and physical education, to educate and form the minds and hearts of our students. Our STREAM model has the strong support and encouragement of the Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Becoming a STREAM school takes time. The implementation of STREAM at Frassati began in 2014 and will continue over the next three to six years. In the summer of 2014, teachers from Frassati Catholic Academy attended courses about the STREAM curricula at St. Catherine’s University. They have applied what they learned with support from St. Catherine’s and will become certified in STEM by April 2016.
St. Catherine University continues to evaluate the success of Frassati’s STREAM program during implementation and monitor student growth in targeted areas of integration. Over the next three to six years, the STREAM program will be fully implemented at Frassati Catholic Academy.
While the staff of St. Catherine University supports our school with the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, Frassati integrates Religion and the Arts through other partnerships. Our diocese has a number of lay people and clergy with a background in both theology and STEM disciplines, including our chaplain, Fr. Joe Bambenek, who has a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was a nuclear engineer. They provide training to help our teachers grow in their understanding of the faith and learn new ways to bring faith and reason together in the classroom. This training helps us fulfill the Catholic Identity Standards established by the archdiocese.
The St. Pius X and St. Mary of the Lake communities have long-standing reputations for excellence in music and theatre. Our STREAM model continues this tradition while searching for ways to strengthen our other Arts programs. We have an established partnership with the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts. This relationship brings professional artists from a variety of mediums into our school to work with our students. This instruction includes connections to the design process, a core element of the STREAM model.