It has been a “STEAM-Y” summer at Holy Trinity!

When it comes to Science Technology Engineering Art Math, “how I spent my summer vacation” has taken on new meaning for several of our students, faculty and staff.

Through Florida Tech’s Research Apprenticeship program with Holy Trinity, students have stepped out into the real world in significant ways. Projects related to 3-D Printing and Chemistry Education were completed by Sabrina Webb and Cindy Hall. Jacob Mickevicius and Kasey Friedeneich studied Human Factors in Aerospace Engineering in the same program.

Mathew Rahmes completed a research apprenticeship through UCF and the U.S. Army, rebuilding a spectrometer. Meanwhile, three students, Abi Dandapani, Kasey Friedenreich and Evan Ristow ‘15 interned at Harris. Additional internships include Joye Oni at Flavin, Nooney and Person, Accountants; Zoha Irfan at Health First in hospital administration; Justin Ganiban at the Eye Institute in marketing and IT; Mason Baughan with Sailthru Software, and Bilal Farooqi at Circles of Care. Each opportunity helps students connect HT academics with college and career interests as well as making progress towards an HT STEAM diploma.

Eighty-four of our Lower School students dived into STEAM through summer camps offered at Holy Trinity. Jessica Kelce and Lorie Wacaster showed campers how science and art collide in Look at the World Like Leonardo. The team of Sharon Brockell, Teresa Schultz, Dereck Parker, Sharon Foster, Larry Dowling, Judy Houser and Richard Hargraves were also inspiring our students in other camp offerings. In the Full “STEAM” Ahead sessions, students investigated and applied technological skills integrating science, engineering, art, and math as well as learned creativity and digital design. Coding, video game making, beebot mazes, and more activities intrigued and ignited analytical thinking. In Jr. Science Sleuths-Geocaching sessions, students developed the habits of scientists and engineers as they made predictions, gathered evidence, and built exciting projects utilizing technology. In the Maker Camp, students experienced exciting engineering and technology utilizing brush bots, 3D printing, and squishy circuits. In Techno Kids Club, students were engaged in critical and creative thinking with a vast variety of computer programs and digital media techniques.

Advancing the STEAM initiatives, including the STEAM diploma track, at HT has been a priority for the STEAM committee appointed by Nancy Giangristostami, Head of Upper School. The objective of the committee touches many areas of campus experience, all supporting a focus on connecting classroom and real world experiences in the STEAM fields. Committee members include Trevor Herntier, Science Department Chair, Cathy Rodby, Fine Arts Department Chair, Aaron Pishalski, Mathematics Department Chair, Pam Meier, Computer Science/Technology Teacher, Jeanette Russell, Engineering Design/Science Teacher, and Alison Bell Director of College Counseling. Justin Ganiban, Class of 2016, was appointed student representative to this committee. At the Upper School, Pam Meier taught coding and Larry Dowling taught game design.

Recent STEAM initiatives at the Upper School include:

  • Teachers attended STEM conferences in Minneapolis, Nebraska and at Embry-Riddle.
  • New initiatives to develop direct connections between Florida Institute of Technology are in the works, including professors speaking at school-wide assemblies, student participation in FIT’s annual LASER Day and expanded opportunities for student research with FIT mentors.
  • New ideas about how the Fine Arts department can nurture innovation and creativity are also in the planning stages.
  • The Harris Teacher Internship program has been appreciated by two of our HT faculty with great ideas for classroom projects!
  • Our summer Math Lab, using the ALEKS program, has been up and running with plans for daily options for Math Lab participation in the upcoming school year under the direction of Mr. Pishalski.
  • Robotics continues to grow and thrive as an option for Upper School students and multiple seniors plan Senior Thesis projects in STEAM subjects.
  • Jeannette Russell is heading Project Lead the Way, a curriculum that helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy.

Lower School teachers have recently embarked on some interesting STEAM related professional development trips and projects:

  • Fifth and sixth grades science teacher, Stephanie Boates, was one of 115 teachers who departed from Vancouver on the “Steve Spangler Science at Sea Cruise to Alaska.” While visiting cities such as Juneau and Glacier Bay, the teachers where lectured by Alaskan naturalist John Scheerens on topics such as the geology of Alaska, ocean currents, the Alaskan rainforest, weather, global warming, water and glaciers.
  • STEM teacher, Dipty Desai, also had Steve Spangler training. She visited Colorado for “Science in the Rockies” and learned techniques for teaching students about air, density, force and motion, weather and stated of matter.
  • Randy Rister, the Lower School’s IT specialist, and three fourth grade students built a prosthetic hand with the 3D printer in the Makerspace funded by Harris. The hand was built specifically for a boy in Minnesota who lost his hand as a baby. Now he is able to use the new hand to perform tasks he was unable to do before. Check out this video of him picking up a cup and drinking with his new hand!!

Questions about our STEAM initiatives should be directed to:
Lower School Head:
Mrs. Catherine Koos @

Upper School Head:
Mrs. Nancy Giangrisostomi @

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