What is STREAM?
STREAM is an acronym meaning Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. It is a model of education based off the commonly used STEM model – which incorporates all of the previously mentioned subjects with the exception of Religion and Arts. OLMC School has been incorporating elements of the STREAM model of education into our school over the past few years in a structured and age-appropriate way across all grades.
A defining characteristic of STREAM is that the subjects are not mutually exclusive. While students still attend Math class, Science class, Art class and more, by incorporating STREAM, teachers are given the opportunity to create projects that incorporate Math, Science and Art all into one project. In addition, STREAM incorporates both theory and practice, by creating situations where students can practice what they learn. Mrs. Rizzi explains, “STREAM provides students with critical thinking, tolerance for ambiguity, and 21st century work-place skills.” She explained that in the work place, it is common to be given a task or job that requires thinking outside of the box. In today’s work place, it is atypical to be handed a list of possible solutions after the problem is explained and asked to pick the answer that seems best; rather, individuals in the workplace today are expected to communicate effectively with co-workers, get creative with solving problems, and pull from a variety of knowledge and expertise in order to tackle one problem.
At OLMC School, Religion plays a critical part in how the STREAM model has been and will continue to be implemented. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics focus particularly on answering the question, “how?” Students learn how to program software, they learn how to use fine motor skills, and they learn how the atmosphere works and how to solve long division. Religion, on the other hand, is crucial in helping students understand why all of these subjects and skills are important. Furthermore, STREAM provides students with more opportunities to both learn about Catholicism and to put into practice the tenets of the Catholic Faith. The church’s teaching on Catholic Social Justice provides many opportunities for this. For example, as students learn about engineering, they can also look at bigger social problems we face, and then focus their engineering projects on addressing those issues.
At Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, we view technology as a tool to be used in teaching, rather than as a replacement for the teacher. This tool is one of many to be used in the classroom to enable students to reach their highest potential as students, citizens and children of God. We understand that a clear and healthy knowledge of such technological tools can help mankind pursue truth, goodness and beauty and that this knowledge should be cultivated in the minds of students from a young age. We begin by forming our students’ minds to think critically and morally and to retain information that is learned in the classroom. Technological devices can be used to support creativity and research, but are not a replacement for the human interactions between students and teachers that are vital to learning in the way that God intended.