STEAM Lab unveiled at Mater Dei

Green screen, podcast studio among equipment
Posted on 02/02/2023
The third graders at Mater Dei-Immaculate Conception had wide smiles all day long, as they kept inviting guests to use the new equipment at Immaculate Conception on Wednesday.

Mrs. Jill Bork’s third grade class gleefully demonstrated the STEAM Lab ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Their excitement level is so high,” Mater Dei Principal Mary Fischer said. “They’ve all been coming in excited to have their hands on all this equipment.”

The lab helps students enrich their skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. It’s one of the newest STEAM Labs in the city.

Bishop Heelan received memorial money from the family of Colleen Goodwin, who dedicated a lot of time to Mater Dei. Colleen and husband Terry Goodwin’s two children, Sarah and Michael, are Heelan graduates.

The Wharton Family was also recognized, as The Wharton Family Charitable Fund made a considerable gift toward the lab.

Mater Dei Pastor Fr. Brad Pelzel blessed the STEAM Lab during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The lab offers several on-hand activities for students to use, such as coding robots, a TV touchscreen, a podcast center, virtual reality oculus, and building materials.

“This gets their brains moving,” Fischer said. “It’s invaluable. This is the computer age. Kids know how to work computers. They pick up on things so quickly. It’s about using creativity. They’re not sitting at a desk listening to someone.”

The lab used to be a computer lab, but Fischer and IT Director Jacque Yaneff had the idea last summer to convert the space into the STEAM Lab.

“Our students are 1-to-1 with Chromebooks, so it was a room we didn’t need for computers,” Fischer said. “So, we decided to convert it for STEAM education.”

All students will work in the STEAM Lab on a regular basis. The space is open whenever students want to use it.

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