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'R' for Religion Turns STEAM to STREAM

This is reprint of original article by Jackie Zubrzycki on August 26, 2015, 5:25 pm entitled "Catholic Schools Add 'R' for Religion to Turn STEAM to STREAM"

For Roman Catholic schools seeking to differentiate themselves from the pack, STREAM's the word.

This is the second year of a National Catholic Educational Association initiative to promote science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, and math — that's STREAM — in Catholic schools. 

STEMExternal Link — short for science, technology, engineering, and math — has been a buzzword and a policy focus for nearly a decade, part of an effort from educators, policymakers, and businesses to bring attention to a set of subjects where U.S. students' test scores lagged behind some international peers'. STEM often embraces its creative side to become STEAM, as schools and educators emphasize the potential for interdisciplinary connections between arts and the STEM subjects.

For some Catholic educators, however, even STEAM wasn't interdisciplinary enough.

"We realized no initiative could fully meet the needs of our constituency unless the R was put in," said Heather Gossart, director of special projects, including the STREAM initiative, for the National Catholic Education Association. The NCEA represents 6,568 Catholic schools enrolling 1.9 million students around the country.

"STEM evolved into STEAM, and we thought, this is actually wonderful. But in our Catholic schools, faith is always the foundation of everything we do," said Gossart. "The R is for religion."

Thus, religion joined arts and the original STEM subjects, and STREAMExternal Link was born.



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