St. Joseph Catholic School in Waconia, MN is embracing the Educate to Innovate Challenge
St. Joseph School’s WOW factor is the implementation of our C-STEM program. Throughout the school, we have varied learning environments that promote our Catholic Identity, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking.
Our crown jewel is our SmartLab. In this environment, students dive into more than 650 extended learning engagements covering 8 different STEM modules between kindergarten and 8th grade that promote the integration of our Catholic faith with technology and hands-on/minds-on learning. This environment motivates learners to inquire, explain and tackle meaningful 21st Century problems and then celebrate successes that they may have never imagined.
Our Integration Lab, also known as our Project Based Learning Center is where students tackle challenges such as creating knee braces, designing zoo enclosures, studying jet propulsion or creating habitats for bats. Here, students are using creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills to research and solve real-world problems while using a Catholic moral lens in an inviting colorful environment that supports teamwork.
The library/media center is where students are entrenched in literacy as they dive into genres that expand their minds through critical thinking. This space offers them information that both entices their understanding of the real world and takes them away to fictional lands. Our learning environments allow innovative learning to thrive. Anywhere you go in the school you will find that curriculum and teaching/learning practices are integrated with the bedrock of our school, our Catholic faith.
Our school is a joyful “Saint Making Factory”.