#1StudentNWI: Streaming into success at Bishop Noll Institute

#1StudentNWI: Streaming into success at Bishop Noll Institute

What's recently happened?

STREAM, which is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Religion and Mathematics, is integrated in the Bishop Noll Institute (BNI) community and lifestyle. The program that helps kids think outside the box has been skyrocketing since 2017 and is not planning to stop anytime soon. 

It was formerly known as STEM, which was short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The program has gone through many changes which have increased its size in numbers and in classes. 

While you are in the STREAM classes, you are in the STREAM Lab located on the first floor of Bishop Noll. The lab has four separate classes and spaces that can be used by the students. The first room is where the computers are located, this is where kids do their work and make up their designs. The second room is where the kids can create and build their creations to life. The room is filled with high top tables, chairs and endless supplies to help the students succeed. The third room is where the 3D printers are located and as well as the supplies needed for more advanced engineering classes. The fourth room is located in the upstairs of the lab which has computers that are mainly used for programming.

The STREAM Lab is a staple at BNI and guides kids to help them learn their strengths and give them ideas of their future.

What's coming up?

STREAM isn’t just helping students at BNI but also Catholic schools around the area. BNI has a program called STEM. This program invites eighth graders to BNI to take IED and Algebra honors. This program unfortunately stopped for one year because of COVID-19, but it’s in its second year since coming back and things are going great. This program allows younger students to explore the engineering world and get a taste of what high school is like. 

The Passion for Engineering has been growing at BNI. This is seen in the Principles of Engineering and Civil Engineering. These classes are the next step you take if you are interested in Introduction to Engineering. More students have been signing up and taking the classes. Taking the advance classes helps student learn more information about engineering and further their skills in the topic.  

It’s not just the classes growing but also the supplies that go along with it. BNI has revived new printers. These printers are Prusa Printers, which are for 3D printing. 

To go along with that, there is a new Glowforge at BNI. Glowforge are machines that have a laser cutter that use a laser. This machine can be used for engraving, cutting and scoring. This makes it available for kids to experiment and create new types of projects.

Staff spotlight:

A teacher who has been a part of STREAM since the beginning is Teacher Mary Albrecht. Her love for STREAM came from her favorite classes being science courses. While her love for wanting to become a teacher came from her loving to help other classmates when she was younger.

Albrecht chose to teach at BNI for multiple reasons. She loved the school and the courses that it had to offer. She recognized that BNI has a wide variety of courses that help kids pursue their interests. She believes that even if kids don't want to be engineers that the class will help them in more ways.

“There are so many benefits with our engineering courses even if students are not planning to become engineers,” she said. “My freshman students collaborate with classmates, work with their hands building, and have fun in our class. We teach technical skills as well as social skills."

Albrecht teaches PLTW Introduction to Engineering. Every year she teaches freshmen their assigned engineering class. Her teaching style includes taking notes, solving problems, being hands on, working with groups and thinking critically. She is always thinking of ways to make the class interesting while also teaching the students a lesson.

She started teaching this course in 2017. This is her sixth year, and she is going very strong. It is safe to say that Albrecht has been a part of everyone’s journey at BNI.

Student Spotlight:

Everyone in BNI has a spotlight in the STREAM course. Introduction to Engineering Design is a graduation course that is required at BNI. This class is a yearlong and is given to freshmen. This class helps the students open their minds to problem solving and learning how to think outside of the box. 

Albrecht loves to see kids pursuing their interest in engineering by taking the more advanced classes. 

“I love to see students returning to the STREAM lab after they complete IED, and they are taking Civil Engineering or Principles of Engineering.  It is neat to see who is taking an interest in our more advanced courses," Albrecht said.

It’s not only teachers who think that it’s making an impact but students as well. For example, Junior Alexis Vega, who had taken an interest in engineering. 

“Being in these engineering classes has helped me realize how many small details are important in both small and large projects. That was also a favorite part of the classes," she said, “Getting to work with different technology and creating new things has always been an interest to me, and I'm glad that I was able to explore that more in these classes. I have taken Intro to Engineering and Design and Principles of Engineering and hope to take Civil Engineering next year as well."