Cutting Edge Hands-on Learning
North Dallas Adventist Academy (NDAA) has recently acquired a state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) lab through funding from the federal grant of Extra Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) which was enacted to assist private schools like NDAA in the mitigation of learning loss due to COVID-19. The lab is equipped with the latest technology and resources to provide students with hands-on learning experiences in STEM subjects.
The acquisition of the STEM lab is a sea change achievement for NDAA, as it will help to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge for successful careers in STEM fields.
The acquisition of the grant funds was led by Petronella Hunt, NDAA business manager and Renee White, interim head of school (2021). The lab features a wide range of cutting-edge equipment, including 3D printers, CNC router machines and robotics kits. These resources will allow students to explore their interests in STEM and develop their skills in a hands-on environment.
In addition to providing students with access to the latest technology and resources, the STEM lab will also provide opportunities for teachers to further their own education and professional development.
As the STEM Lab facilitator, I enjoy making lessons hands-on, interactive and relevant. I love providing positive reinforcement recognizing their accomplishments. Connecting to real-world applications and careers provides a bridge from the abstract to the reality of interacting in careers and disciplines heretofore unimagined. Feeling proud of student accomplishments is a great reward for any educator. Celebrating their successes, no matter how small, is a constant affirmation to me that my contribution makes a difference in the lives of my students.
Our aspiration is in accord with this prescient statement, from Ellen G. White’s book, True Education, “Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator— individuality, power to think and to do. The ones in whom this power is developed are the ones who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought.”
The acquisition of the state-of-the-art STEM lab at North Dallas Adventist Academy is a major milestone for the academy. The lab will provide students with hands-on learning experiences, access to the latest technology and resources, and opportunities to explore their interests in STEM.
The lab will also benefit teachers by providing opportunities for professional development. As the STEM Lab facilitator, I am excited to play a role in guiding students to discover their passions and develop their skills in STEM fields. This acquisition is a testament to the commitment of NDAA and EANS to provide students with the best education possible and to shape the future of education.
By Stephan Gray
North Dallas Adventist Academy Biology Teacher and STEM Lab Facilitator