Stepinac High School Introduces New Active Learning Centers

When the new school year at Stepinac High School begins on September 9, one of the highlights will be the two new active learning centers that were designed to take the Catholic high school’s pioneering personalized blended learning program to the next level.

Modeled after Columbia University’s classroom, the new state-of-the-art learning environment will continue the Stepinac’s mission to prepare students for post-secondary success in a globally competitive world.

The non-traditional, 21st century learning spaces significantly enhance the students’ learning experience and help prepare them for what they will expect when they enter modern day university classrooms and cutting-edge workplaces. The innovations help improve academic performance in the school’s project- based learning environment by heightening interactivity between the student and instructor and between students themselves when they collaborate in problem-solving assignments.

The learning centers are equipped with numerous touch-interactive displays with high performance front-facing speakers, and numerous inputs for all video formats. They also provide built-in browser, white boarding, and wireless sharing without requiring a computer. The new software unleashes full potential of media-rich lesson planning.

The new technology will also allow real-time access to subject matter experts and lecturers located around the world, brought live into the classroom via a state-of-the-art video conferencing capability. This feature will also be used for students who are absent or on extended medical leave.

Finally, the rooms are equipped with premier Steelcase furniture that will allow students to collaborate better, concentrate better, experiment better and learn better.

In a related curriculum innovation development, Stepinac recently won the prestigious Fordham University Graduate School of Education’s Catholic School Executive Leadership Award in recognition of its outstanding STEAM program.

Stepinac was the only high school of the Archdiocese of New York to earn the honor for the STEAM interdisciplinary approach to learning that combines Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Stepinac’s comprehensive STEAM curriculum provides opportunities for all students and teachers to collaborate and engage in innovative ways through project-based learning.

The Honors Academy in Engineering and Health Sciences has led the way in tackling real-world problems like the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis and Climate Change threats.

Frank Portanova, Vice Principal for Academics and Curriculum, said: “Stepinac has long been a practitioner of STEAM which encourages students to think more broadly about real-world problems and to equip them with the critical thinking and problem-solving skill sets they will need to succeed in college and in their future careers,” adding: “The Fordham University honor continues Stepinac’s tradition of being recognized by renowned educational institutions as a standard bearer of curriculum innovation.”

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