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STREAM program hosts first-ever symposium, highlighting students’ research and findings

“STREAM is more than just science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math, it is a family!” said Isabelle Kearney, Class of 2025.

In the fall of 2019, Resurrection welcomed its first cohort into the STREAM Program. STREAM is a mission-centered approach to teaching Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math. Students who enter the program make connections across each of these disciplines with an emphasis on scientific observation, technological exploration, artfully engineered design with a focus on solving relevant, real world problems, all grounded in a Catholic world-view. The goal of the STREAM program is to be a transformative catalyst for creative problem solving.

Resurrection’s academic program has always been rooted in an authentic Liberal Arts tradition infused with an Catholic anthropology. For this reason, the decision was made to design a program with a STREAM curriculum, rather than a more traditional STEM or STEAM model. While all students at Resurrection have the opportunity to enrich their academic course plan with STREAM offerings, students who choose to enroll in the STREAM program are provided with a unique four-year course of study designed to prepare students to become leaders in emerging career and research fields. 

The STREAM Program consists of three courses: STREAM I, STREAM II, and STREAM III with AP Seminar.  

STREAM I: Foundations is an introductory course in the STREAM cluster for students interested in learning more about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 
This course covers basic skills required for STREAM fields of study, as well as the inquiry process. Upon completion of this course, proficient students are able to identify and explain the steps in the engineering design process, general scientific inquiry process, and non-science problem based learning process as well as begin to articulate the value of skill integration.

STREAM II: Applications is a project-based, mission-centered learning experience with a focus on computer science and a special topic in STEM. Building on the content and critical thinking frameworks of STREAM I, this course challenges students to apply the scientific inquiry and engineering design processes, from a Catholic worldview to more in-depth and complex projects selected by the student with the help of teacher input. 

STREAM III with AP Seminar is the third and final course in the STREAM Program. This course builds upon the skills and experiences of STREAM I and STREAM II and challenges students to deeply explore a topic, issue, or idea of individual interest.  Students design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address a research question. Since this project involves a significant amount of independent work, students will work closely with an outside mentor. The mentor will be selected by the student and the STREAM instructor and must be connected to the student’s research project.

On Thursday, April 28, 2022, Resurrection hosted its inaugural STREAM Symposium.  
The Symposium gave the students a chance to present their research and to share their findings.  

“This program was created in response to the dramatically low numbers of young women entering the engineering workforce. Our program, unique to RES, challenges our students to think differently about their education, their role in their community, and their identity as thinkers and doers,” said Dr. Megan Leider.

STREAM I students presented their action research projects. One project titled, Doping in Figure Skating, was created to inform people about the importance of playing clean and winning clean. Freshman Charlotte Korperski is continuing her research into all kinds of scandals in figure skating history. Another project titled, Disney, looked at the success surrounding Disney. The students involved in this research project noticed that Disney has grown dramatically over the years and wanted to take a look at how this happened. 

“Being a part of the STREAM program provides us with a sense of community and provides us with the chance to learn in a unique way. In class, we do all sorts of research, experiments, projects, and more to teach us important skills that we will need to use in our future. We have lots of independence by choosing our way of approaching activities and so much more. Personally, I believe that the STREAM program should be offered to students all around the world since it is so beneficial,” said STREAM I student Lindsey Krawczyk, who was a part of the group who did the Disney research project.

STREAM II students displayed the apps they created as part of their participation in the Technovation Competition. One app titled, Women’s Health, strives to make women feel more comfortable about working out. The student developers, Mary Beltran and Annaliese Vizconde, recognized the discomfort women feel at co-ed gyms and determined that women working out with other women is not only safer, but more comfortable, so they designed an app that allows women to connect with each other about healthy recipes, safe gyms, and more.

Another app titled, TrashDash, is a resource directed towards teenagers and students in the Chicagoland area to help them recycle. The student developers, Christine Glascott, Sabrina Shero, Ava Bellwoar, and Nicole Bosowski, said “as people continue to pollute the environment and struggle to take initiative in making a change, our app provides a way to educate people and supply them with recycling facilities.” According to the students, TrashDash personalizes users’ information with a combination of their location and recycling data to engage and inspire them to take action; and in some instances, people can turn trash into cash. The students’ inspiration and goal behind designing Trash Dash was to make recycling more simple, accessible to younger audiences, and in some cases, a great way to earn money.

“STREAM to me is a place where I can bravely explore so many fields of science with each day being a new learning experience. I have the support and encouragement of my teacher to ask questions and stay curious,” said STREAM II student Ava Bellwoar.

Lastly, the original STREAM cohort, now juniors, discussed their experiences with the STREAM program, and in particular, some of the out-of-school experiences they had while being a part of the program in the STREAM lab.  

“Being in the STREAM program has been one of the most fulfilling opportunities in my life. Growing up I always wanted to go into a science or math occupation, but this program definitely solidified that feeling for me. Due to being in STREAM, I feel more confident about being a woman going into a field such as the ones I wanted to be in growing up,” said Olivia Esposito, Class of 2023.

“Being in STREAM has helped me inside and outside of the classroom; because of Dr. Leider I have not only learned how to be a leader, but I have also learned that it’s okay to fail and that failing just means you have to look at the problem from a different perspective and that it is more than okay to ask for help,” added Catherine Sabel, Class of 2023.

The work showcased at the Symposium was “the result of months of dedication, determination, failure, and perseverance. This work is 100% our students’...rooted in their beliefs and values,” said Dr. Leider.

Since launching in the fall of 2019 with 26 students, the STREAM program has admitted two additional cohorts and the fourth will be joining in fall of 2022. In the upcoming 2022-2023 school year, over 100 students will be enrolled in the program, 30 percent of which are incoming freshmen.