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Integrating Art into STEM

By Dr. Rose Davidson, STEM Coordinator
STEAM education incorporates the Arts into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is believed that this approach helps students to form connections between the disciplines and the real world, strengthening their understanding. It is also believed that a STEAM approach to learning fosters the 21st century skills needed, such as critical thinking, inquiry, problem solving and collaboration. At St. Joe we are moving toward an emphasis on a growth-centered mindset and the development of 21st century skills. Two informational articles which present arguments for using the STEAM approach are “STEAM: Using the Arts to Train Well-Rounded and Creative Scientists” and “STEM vs. STEAM do the Arts belong?
STEAM Courses at SJA

The Design Courses
Design is one of the Visual Arts courses that incorporates engineering principles into its work. Next year, a new course, Graphic Design, will expand upon and integrate the coursework carried out in Design and Digital Photography.
Toy Design Project
One project carried out by the Design students this year was toy designs. Students designed 3-D printed toys and coordinating packaging after exploring stereotypes and biases in the toy industry. To create models for their toys they worked in TinkerCad and Meshmixer, which they printed on the 3-D printers in the Digital Innovation Space. Once they were printed, the toys were sanded and custom-painted. Packaging was designed and created using a variety of tools and techniques in Adobe Photoshop.
Architectural Models
Design students are seen here completing their architectural models. They are incorporating their models into a landscape, putting careful consideration into the placement, pathways, and landscaping.
Little Women Poster Designs
Design students combined traditional and digital media to create posters for Little Women. After working in groups to break down the important themes, characters and plot points, they created the imagery for their posters through collage. These posters were scanned and text was added using Adobe Photoshop.
JOE Talk Logos
Two Design students digitally created and submitted designs to the logo competition, held by the Sisters of St. Joseph for their J.O.E. Talks (Justice, Outreach, Education) program series. This is a new program series that will launch April 2019! Hosted by The Sisters of St. Joseph Racial and Cultural Justice Committee.
The Digital Photography Course
Digital Photography is another SJA STEAM course combining technology with the visual arts.
Sphero Light Painting Project
Students learned how shutter speed can capture motion when taking photos. The longer the exposure, the more motion blur is captured. Students collaborated to create colorful light paintings using Sphero robots.
Digital Photography Final Project
For their final project, Digital Photography students completed their most challenging assignment of the semester- studio portraiture. Students collaborated in groups to style their portraits. They had to consider backdrops, clothing, makeup, hairstyles, lighting, and poses all while shooting in manual mode.
Ms. Katie Schaefer has been instrumental in bringing the Design and Graphic Arts courses to SJA. Her energy and enthusiasm for STEAM has created a collaborative environment for all.
The Video Production Course
The Video Production class, taught by Mrs. Amy Summers, produced high-quality videos last semester through newly acquired Adobe Premier Software. Students learned how to use a range of video and audio equipment to enhance the professional quality of their videos.
The final projects for this course entailed creating videos to promote St. Joseph's Academy to prospective families and donors. These included videos to highlight Campus Ministry, the Annual Appeal, College Advising, the STEM Program, Teachers Impact on Students, and the Fund -A-Need for the auction.
The STEM video, written and produced by Parker Lewallen, Bella Lorenz and Mia Quinn highlights the STEM program at SJA. It will be used to promote the STEM program at events such as the STEM Celebration.
The Annual Appeal video was sent out by Department of Institutional Advancement to more than 6,000 people to solicit end of the year fiscal donations. This video, which was written and produced by Emma Mueller, Katie Augsburger and Morgan Orf can be accessed here.  
The Fund-A-Need video will debut at the auction and hopes to raise awareness and funds for a special project. Other videos created by the class will be used by St. Joe when deemed appropriate.
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.

St. Joseph's Academy

2307 South Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-394-4300
Fax: 314-965-9114
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