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Faculty STEM News

By Dr. Rosemary Davidson, STEM Coordinator
Your daughter(s)’ teachers have been hard at work preparing for the 2018-19 school year.

All faculty members worked through Kung Fu Canvas lessons online on the new Canvas learning management system. Congratulations to Mrs. Liz Kelley (English) and Dr. Rose Davidson (Science and STEM Coordinator) for completing all of the lessons and achieving their Black Belts in Canvas!

In addition to the Canvas online training, a number of faculty members attended workshops or conferences, completed coursework and/or degrees and carried out enrichment experiences on their travels.

Mrs. Katie Schaefer (Fine Arts) attended the 2018 conference of the International Society for Technology in Education in Chicago, Illinois. According to Mrs. Schaefer, “Going to ISTE 2018 allowed me to see how other teachers and students are using technology in their classrooms, and bring back some new fresh ideas. I was able to learn about students at an all-girls’ school in Mexico who designed original 3D printed jewelry to learn about molecular models.” 

Mrs. Katie Lodes (Science) spent five days learning about cutting edge marine science research, the data coming from the research and developed lesson plans around the research by attending the Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses (EARTH) conference at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. The conference is sponsored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). This year’s EARTH activities included learning about ocean acidification and commercial crab fisheries, touring the NOAA Fisheries Survey Vessel the Bell M. Shimada, the new class of research vessels, examining ocean observatories like the cabled NANOOS (Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems), exploring marine mammal strandings (including a necropsy of a Guadalupe fur seal), collecting mud shrimp and observing them for invasive parasites (part of a Citizen Scientist project) and analyzing global fishing fleet data and the effect of these fleets on birds.

Mrs. Jennifer Bisch (Science) and Mr. Tom Riordan (Mathematics) attended Advanced College Credit updating conferences at St. Louis University for their SLU 1818 college credit courses in Forensics and Calculus.

Mrs. Amy Summers (English) participated in a class about Adobe Premiere at the Computer Education and Training Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis.  This is the school's new video production software available through the cloud. It will be used by the SJA TV crew creating the Weekly Updates, Video Production students, as well as by the student body to make movies and video clips with special effects for their coursework. Mrs. Summers relays, “I was the only teacher in the class, mainly taken by marketing and graphic/video art professionals. It was an intensive one day immersion with video and data.”
 
Mrs. Kathy Siegel (Math and Computer Science) completed the AP Computer Science Principles Summer Institute endorsed by the College Board at Arkansas State University in preparation for the SJA course, which will be offered beginning in 2019-2010.
 
Ms. Hannah Decker (World Languages) and Ms. Mary Jackson (Business and Computer Science & Engineering) attended InstructureCarn in Keystone, Colorado. This is a yearly edtech conference hosted by Instructure, the company that creates and maintains the Canvas Learning Management System. According to Ms. Decker, “There were three days of keynote speakers from influential figures in the fields of education and technology, and countless breakout sessions.  At the breakout sessions, we were able to hear from other instructors and administrators about the ways in which they are using Canvas and other compatible technology to innovate with pedagogy in their classrooms and districts across the world.  Having attended this wonderful convention, our hope is now to serve as "Canvas ambassadors" on the SJA campus and help support our colleagues as they learn to use this new LMS. I am particularly hoping to show my colleagues how easily VR and AR technology can be embedded directly into a Canvas assignment. I saw very compelling demonstrations on a VR field trip through the inside of a computer for a computer science course and a VR field trip through ancient ruins for a history course.”

Mrs. Julie Haddock (Science and Computer Science & Engineering) carried out a two-day exploration of everything about flight. She visited the Wright brothers' beginnings, space exploration and airplanes at the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park.  Mrs. Haddock also went to the Flight 93 National Memorial, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a very solemn experience of reliving 9/11 and the sacrifice of those 40 passengers. 
 
Ms. Taylor Shadden (Mathematics) completed her Masters of Arts in Mathematics for Educators from Webster University this summer by taking her last two classes: Logic and Advanced Trigonometry. Logic is a class that helps increase understanding of what constitutes valid reasoning, as well as increase ability to express formal mathematical arguments. Advanced Trigonometry dove into polar trigonometry and spherical trigonometry to look at the subject from all different branches.
 
Dr. Rose Davidson (Science and STEM Coordinator), visited the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. At the Discovery Center, interactive exhibits showcase how charitable organizations can put STEM to work to improve the quality of life for billions of people. Dr. Davidson explored the innovative solutions proposed by Gates Foundation to the most pressing challenges facing communities around the globe, such as providing clean water and fighting diseases.

Mrs. Taylor Pottgen (Science) had the opportunity to study cancer drug resistance in a Biochemistry lab at South Dakota State University as a part of her Master’s Degree program.  The main objective was to profile drugs, both FDA-approved and in clinical trials, to discover ways to improve drug efficacy and reduce potential drug toxicity.
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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.

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