At Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH) in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, summer means opening their doors to welcome elementary and middle school students for a variety of week-long camps, including the Notre Dame STEM Camp. OLSH is the only school in their region to host this program, which is run by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for STEM Education. The school was approved as a site in 2016, and since then they have worked with Notre Dame to bring camps focused on engineering, science, computing, robotics, anatomy and physiology to students in grades 5-7. Instructors come from across the United States, and all are trained in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program.
The Notre Dame camps are highlighted by daily hands-on investigation, extended conversations about data and evidence for claims and on-going collaborative problem-solving. This year, the STEM camp focused on chemical investigations, highlighted by experiments and computer simulations exploring chemical phenomena and gas behavior. Students also discussed the engineering design cycle with an Engineering is Elementary investigation and bioplastics challenge.
OLSH has spent the past several years building a STEM program that has garnered the attention of many and led to more students pursuing studies in these areas. The Notre Dame program is just one more effort on their part to live out their commitment to bringing high-quality, relevant educational experiences to their students.