St. Croix Catholic is blessed to have many connections - locally and globally - to enhance the students' study of subject areas and their connections to the real world. Below, are just a few examples.
MnDOT MEETS WITH BUDDING ENGINEERS AT ST. CROIX CATHOLIC
In Spring 2013, St. Croix Catholic received a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) grant from the Minnesota Independent Schools Forum (MISF) to provide a unique real world learning opportunity to its eighth grade students. Throughout the 2013-14 school year, students continued to learn alongside the architects and engineers involved in the design and building of the new bridge. The partnership culminated with the students developing a new technology, robot sensors, which could be integrated into the initial design of the bridge as a means to sense eventual structural changes. “This project blends perfectly with our Project Lead The Way Automation & Robotics course,” explained Mrs. Moorhouse middle school science teacher. “Our students were able to conduct research of bridge maintenance and then use ROBOTC programming knowledge (gained from the Automation & Robotics course) and VEX kits to construct sensory robots using real world constraints. They tested individual variables, evaluated multiple designs, and presented their findings. We were excited to be able to offer our students this real world opportunity; we hope this experience will attract students to the exciting field of civil engineering.”
DAD AND INVENTOR VISITS SCCS
We were so pleased to welcome St. Croix Catholic father, Dr. John Gozum, to our middle school science classes in Fall 2013. Dr. Gozum, an accomplished scientist and inventor with 3M, spent the day with all sections of middle school science explaining to the students how the Scientific Method is not just a theory they need to learn in middle school, but it's the process of all inventions and is used in the business world every day.
Dr. Gozum challenged the students to always be curious, always be observing, for it is in observing that challenges (and therefore opportunities) present themselves. 8th grade students shared their impressions. "I thought it was really cool how inventors look at problems and turn them into products," shared Noah Schraut. John Argiro agreed that he never really thought of products as meeting needs and wants before. Matthew Gozum thought it was interesting how scientists might be going down one path of observations and discover an answer different than what they had originally thought it would be. Dr. Gozum shared the story of how Scotchguard was one such invention when a scientist spilled a certain combination on her shoe and observed that water and dirt did not sink in. Nick Gag shared that one of the most interesting take aways for him was realizing that it's okay and even good to experience failures. We are very grateful to Dr. Gozum for his time and are certain he inspired many up and coming scientists and inventors.
Students in grades 3, 4, and 8 who study Earth science enjoyed a hands-on session with Mr. Bruce Kramer, a Geological Engineer and parent of SCCS alumni, and Mrs. Kate Seanger, a Geologist with 3M.Mr. Kramer shared a presentation that included examples of the type of work geologists do. Students applied their basic understanding of minerals and rocks to the real-world applications. They learned which minerals are extracted from rocks to produce specific products used in construction, in our homes, and even in our vitamins and food. Students in 3rd and 4th grade ran a series of experiments on five samples to see if they could identify the minerals. The 8th graders were able to tie together information from this presentation to a former presentation by the Minnesota Dept of Transportation.
Kate Seanger, a Geologist with 3M, joined Mr. Kramer for the 8th grade presentation. She encouraged the students to consider careers such as: Geological Engineering, Geothermal Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Archeologist, Paleontologist, Mining Management, and several others.