Open house showcases St. Peter’s STEM emphasis

Angela Muttonen, an engineer and St. Peter’s parent, talked with ISD 831 curriculum coordinators Brad Ward and Diane Gorgi before their presentations at the St. Peter’s STEM open house.

Angela Muttonen, an engineer and St. Peter’s parent, talked with ISD 831 curriculum coordinators Brad Ward and Diane Gorgi before their presentations at the St. Peter’s STEM open house.

The world is changing, and St. Peter’s Catholic School has embraced change with enhanced curriculum in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Prospective students and parents learned more about the program at a STEM open house on Thursday, Nov. 7.

St. Peter’s is a private elementary and preschool. After sixth grade, many St. Peter’s graduates attend public ISD 831 schools.

To introduce the STEM concept and goals, ISD 831 curriculum coordinators Brad Ward and Diane Giorgi spoke. Giorgi is a former teacher at Lino Lakes Elementary, which recently became a STEM school.

Ward, who was a biology and environmental science teacher at FLHS, said it is important to begin STEM courses in the early grades.

“We have to intervene much earlier than we imagined,” he said.

In the early 2000s, he said, the public school had minimal science requirements in the junior high: only one semester in seventh grade and one in eighth. Now a full year of life science is required.

Math is doubly accelerated, he said, meaning students with high test scores can qualify to take algebra and geometry one or two years early.

At the high school, industrial technology and agriculture classes get students started in STEM career paths, Ward said.

The audience also heard from Deborah Sieben, sixth-grade teacher at St. Peter’s.

Angela Muttonen, a St. Peter’s Catholic School parent, talked about STEM careers in industry. Muttonen has a BS in biomedical engineering and MS in electrical engineering.

Hamilton Schertz, 5, and his brother Tanner, 10, explored science apparatus at the St. Peter’s STEM open house on Nov. 7.

Hamilton Schertz, 5, and his brother Tanner, 10, explored science apparatus at the St. Peter’s STEM open house on Nov. 7.

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