The science and computer labs went through a transformation over the summer — and so did the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum at JCDS. The science and computer labs have been combined and renamed the STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studio. This integration will also be reflected in an enhanced curriculum, which breaks down the barriers between STEM disciplines.
The STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studio is a multi-purpose learning environment that provides not only science and technology instruction but also a makerspace where students can inquire, create, and solve problems. The STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studio is equipped with Apple computers, projectors, a Smartboard, and 12 3D printers. Children in kindergarten through 6th grade will attend regularly scheduled classes in the new space, where they will learn to use technology as a productivity, communication, and research tool.
In the STEM Shark Lab and Tech Studio, students will be encouraged to seek scientific explanations about the natural world using the inquiry method. Learning will take place in a hands-on laboratory and makerspace environment where students acquire the scientific skills their futures require. The makerspace enables students to be problem solvers, design thinkers, tinkerers and collaborators. The makerspace curriculum integrates global studies, project-based learning, and service learning into the science units at JCDS.
Students will continue to learn about specific disciplines, including earth, life, marine, and physical sciences. As students learn about these scientific disciplines they will also have firsthand experience of the strategies, methods, and materials necessary for scientific investigation. JCDS students will be guided in developing and strengthening their powers of observation and learn to communicate scientific ideas.