St. Michael’s School is a recognized leader in Catholic education not only in the diocese as well as in the county. Our students excel in academics, music, drama, art, and athletics as they are encouraged to develop their God-given talents for the benefit of their own growth as well as in support of one another. STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), or sometime morphed to STEAM (add the Arts) or STEEM (add English) is becoming a standard component of many school programs
because of the importance of integrating skills in all subjects to work toward a project or goal.

Over the past five years, our middle school students have participated in a program called Future City, helping them learn the process of engineering design while incorporating skills from the fields of math, science, technology, English, and art. Mini-projects in grades 5-7 help students grow in the process, which culminates in planning, preparation, and qualification to compete in the Southern California Regional Competition during their eighth grade year. Last year, over 40,000 middle school students from 1,500 schools and 41 regions (and 2 other countries) participated in this program that has been advancing STEM (STEAM/STEEM) education for the past 27 years. Below are a few excerpts from the Future City website

“Future City starts with a question – how can we make the world a better place? Students, working together in teams, imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a city-wide sustainability issue. The 2019-2020 theme is Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow.

Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity), a 1,500-word city essay, a scale model built from recycled materials, a project plan, and a presentation to judges at a Regional Competition.

Students participating in Future City:

  • Apply math and science concepts to real-world issues
  • Develop writing, public speaking, problem solving, and time management skills
  • Research and propose solutions to engineering challenges
  • Discover different types of engineering and explore career options
  • Learn how their communities work and become better citizens”

A participating school may send up to four qualifying teams to the Regional Competition. This year, four St. Michael’s School teams qualified and competed yesterday in Los Angeles at the Southern California Regional Competition at which 33 teams from 15 schools vied for the top spots. At the end of a grueling and nerve-wracking day, all four of our teams received recognitions! Hufflepuffs received the third place People’s Choice Award, Colossians Bay received the Best Architectural Design Award, and, very impressively, the other two St. Michael’s teams, Serena and Hydrocity, qualified for the Final Round, comprised of the top 5 teams. To underscore the significance of that accomplishment, that means that of the top five teams of the thirty-three competing, two were from St. Michael’s School! After presenting again before the entire assembly, Hydrocity emerged as the Southern California Regional Champion and will participate in the National Competition in Washington, D.C. the weekend of February 15-16! Hydrocity also won the first place People’s Choice Award as well as the Best Team Performance Award. A special thanks goes out to the teams’ mentors and coaches: Mrs. June Poling, Mr. Michael Cowan, Mrs. Kaley McHale, and Mr. Brian Patterson, who each played a role in helping all of our teams in their learning.

In order to continue our momentum in becoming a STEM (STEAM/STEEM) school of excellence, we have dedicated the revenue from our upcoming Spring Benefit Denim and Diamonds to assist us with necessary funding for STEM lab procurements. You will be receiving an invitation to this event today (with your youngest/only child). Every St. Michael’s School family is gifted with two complimentary tickets, so we hope you will join us and bring along a few friends. It is a wonderful evening of fun and friendship, but it is also an important fundraiser that will empower our students even further by ensuring our future growth.

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