St. Joan of Arc School places a strong emphasis on our STEM program and has achieved STEM Endorsement from the Notre Dame of Maryland University. SJA integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics into every area of the curriculum. Our vision and mission statements highlight the importance of STEM for the growth and future of our students. Technology is fully integrated into the curriculum through the daily use of interactive SmartBoards in all classrooms, one-to-one Chromebooks in middle school, two mobile iPad carts as well as dedicated iPads for Grades PreK4 through Grade 5, schoolwide wireless Internet access, as well as a state-of-the-art computer lab located in the Innovation lab. Students use this lab for online research, video production, coding, and 3D printing. SJA is proud to incorporate STEM programs including:
- Career Day in the fall
- NorthBay environmental projects; Kindergarten through Grade 5
- Lego WeDo activities; Pre-K4 through Grade 2
- STEAMtrax curriculum with 3D printing; Grades 3 through 8
- Northbay environmental camp; 6th Grade
- Presentations by scientists and engineers from Aberdeen Proving Ground
- Chemistry Day
- Earth Day at APG
- STEM Night (registered with the Maryland STEM Festival)
- Science Night
- 3rd Grade Animal Habitats
- 4th Grade Invention Convention
- 5th Grade Science Fair
Come to STEM Night!
Students from PreKindergarten through Grade 8 participate in STEM Projects which integrate curriculum, require collaboration, utilize logical reasoning and investigation. This interdisciplinary project-based approach allows students to apply content and skills for deeper understanding. Projects inspire the joy of discovery, result in quality work, and empower students to share their gifts.
SJA offers a variety of opportunities to extend the classroom STEM curriculum in the following clubs.
The LEGO Robotics Club generally meets from September to December with the FLL Regional Qualifier in mid-December. Students in grades 4-8 are eligible to participate. The teams will meet after school until 4:30pm. Please visit the LEGO FIRST League website for more detailed information.
Jr. LEGO Club
This Jr. LEGO Club is offered to first, second and third grade students. It will run once a week for 6 weeks each fall and again in late winter. It will meet in the Prekindergarten classroom.
Try your hand at building creatively, individually and with partners. Can you build the tallest structure? Build a structure that can withstand our "earthquake". What kind of vehicle will you build? Make marble runs, Plinko games, free build and play the Lego game all while having fun with your friends.
The Environmental Club will meet in the winter to work on recycling and other projects to increase student awareness of the impact we can have on protecting the environment. In the spring the members will complete a study of native plants and build an area on campus to grow native plants.
SJA Tech Team
SJA Tech Team is a group of students participating and learning about different types of technology used in our school. Activities include:
- Morning Announcements
- Digital Citizenship
- Poster Making (Creating Digital Citizenship Super Heroes)
- Coding/App Making
SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that trains students to build a remotely operated vehicle created by the Office of Naval Research. The students learn about naval architecture, electrical engineering, and team work during the fabrication process.
- The SeaPerch project provides students with a unique opportunity to visualize the design process in real life and real time. It incorporates advanced modeling features such as loft, sweep, shell, screen, work planes, rib, and coil.
- In addition, students will investigate how a material’s properties affect its performance in multiple environments.
- The SeaPerch project further offers students an opportunity to physically experience how engineering terms such as “datum dimensioning” and “tolerances” affect a project’s performance.
- SeaPerch is a skills-based project in which energy and effort are reflected in the project’s outcome. Performance of the SeaPerch ROV is directly related to the students’ work habits and lessons learned.
- The SeaPerch project provides an opportunity to experience how a long-term project requires each member of a team to develop a cooperative and collaborative spirit, reflecting their commitment to the project and to the team.
- Students will also learn how to interact with other student teams, as well as professionals off-site and online, to create a collegial environment to share ideas and resources.
Our 8th grade students participate in SeaPerch as part of the 8th grade curriculum. Students will work in teams of 4 to 5 people to build a remotely operated underwater vehicle. The construction process involves cutting PVC pipe, drilling, waterproofing motors, assembling a circuit board, soldering the circuit board, etc. Students will have the opportunity to compete with other teams in the region.