STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Lab

The STEAM Lab is open to classes at RCDS to design, prototype, build, and innovate!  Interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving and changing the way students think about issues/problems are the hallmarks of design thinking, which is re-shaping curricula around the country. Following the philosophy of  Makerspace® our goal is “…to re-energize education with the creativity, innovation, curiosity, motivation, technical know-how, and playfulness” that characterize our community. We believe strongly in these values across ages, divisions, and disciplines.
Students in grades 3 through 12 receive computer science classes and use the STEAM lab to design, code, and fabricate.

Grades K-4

Robotics: Students learn how to build and program their Lego creations using Lego Robotics. Attention is paid to developing an understanding of force, motion, levers, symmetry, and scale.

Grades 3-4

Programming 101: Students explore the core concepts of programming and logic through investigations in SCRATCH, an interactive programming language. During the course students learn to make conditional statements, build complex behavioral loops, and create if/then statements all while creating art, games, and stories using SCRATCH.

Grades 5 &6

Principles of Functional Design: Students learn how to properly use the Design/Iterate/Evaluate Process to create functional and realistic designs for objects that they create. Students apply a variety of creative and engineering skills to create successive versions of their work until they are satisfied with a final project.

Grades 7 & 8

Structural Design and Modeling: Students explore a variety of structures including skyscrapers, bridges, and arches and investigate many of the techniques engineers use to build them. They also create their own structural designs and model them in both 2D and 3D using blueprints and 3D printers. Students are challenged to build different versions of each design and present their projects as architects would for completion of their structures.

Grades 9-12

Introduction to Computer Science: In this course, students learn key programming concepts in order to create programs that solve challenging problems. Students will learn the basics of both Java and HTML during this course. Examples of projects are coding problems to organize your class lists, sorting a list alphabetically, and writing a website that combines HTML and Javascript.
Advanced Computer Science: Students already comfortable with programming basics are introduced to methods for structuring more complex projects and integrating different programming types into a seamless method. This is a chance for students to flex their programming skills and develop more seamlessly integrated applications for their ideas.
Integral to the success of students’ use of the STEAM Lab is the computer lab housed in the same building. The 3D printers, laser cutters, variety of hand and machine tools, and open and after school hours combine to provide an exciting introduction to designs of all kinds.