STEAM 2.0: Groundbreaking Program Helps Students Build Empathy
An early outcome of Marist School’s recently announced Strategic Plan 2025 is STEAM 2.0, which allows Marist to explore the intersection between STEAM departments (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and Global and Humane Studies, those areas of learning that focus on the world in which we live and how students can make a positive impact through service to others.
The overarching goal of STEAM 2.0 is to help students build empathy. In this way, STEAM 2.0 directly aligns with the new strategic plan, which calls for Marist to build upon its legacy of excellence by providing a world-class education that prepares students to lead and serve with compassion, integrity, and a sense of purpose.
STEAM 2.0 has three major components:
An internal Global and Humane Studies Task Force whose members will refine and enhance the school’s STEAM-related programs by viewing them through the lens of the global and humane
An 8,000-square-foot Center for Immersive Experience and Design to serve as a catalyst for STEAM 2.0 exploration
Ongoing professional development for faculty and staff to nurture innovative teaching techniques, utilizing the most effective educational technologies
The Center for Immersive Experience and Design is the centerpiece of STEAM 2.0 and will be located on the bottom floor of Wooldridge Center. It is a leading-edge concept that elevates and evolves what a makerspace has been in schools for the last decade and creates the standard for student exploration of STEAM subjects as they relate to cultivating empathy. The Center will provide a cooperative, open space that brings together individual components of Marist’s STEAM program including Robotics, Engineering, 3D Design and Printing, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Immersive Media and Media Studies, Podcasting, Broadcasting, Documentary Filmmaking, and Music Technology.
“Cultivating empathy is at the heart of our mission and is essential to the vision articulated in Strategic Plan 2025,” says Marist School Principal Kevin Mullally. “STEAM 2.0 will enable us to focus on increasing students’ capacity for empathy by exploring and unlocking the immersive, experiential, creative, and relational potential of our curriculum and corresponding educational technology. The Center for Immersive Experience and Design, which will open up possibilities for the development of new courses and student experiences, will become an important part of Marist’s approach to educating students to be the next generation of empathetic servant leaders.”
To make STEAM 2.0 a reality, Marist is partnering with The Goizueta Foundation, which funded the school’s initial STEAM initiative in 2014. The Goizueta Foundation recently awarded Marist a $2 million grant for STEAM 2.0 to expand and deepen the exciting work already occurring in this area.
The renovations required to create the Center for Immersive Experience and Design allow Marist the opportunity to further enhance Wooldridge Center by building an addition that will include a new admissions office as well as classrooms, collaborative spaces, and a student exhibit gallery. Construction on these spaces will begin in spring 2020, while work on the Center for Immersive Experience and Design will be done during the summer. Both will be ready for the 2020-2021 academic year.
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