STEM Program

Challenging Curriculum

Science
Freshman: Biology | Sophomore: Chemistry or Accelerated Chemistry | Junior: Physics or AP Physics 1, Environmental STEM| Senior: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 2, Anatomy and Physiology, Biotechnology and Genetics, Astrophysics, Environmental Science, Environmental STEM

Computer Science
Computer fundamentals | AP Computer Science Principles | Web Programming | Network Security | C++ Programming | Java Programming | Game Programming with Unity | Artificial Intelligence | Robotics | Mobile App Development | AP Computer Science | Advanced Topics

Engineering
Engineering Graphics

Math
Freshman: Algebra, Accelerated Algebra, Algebra II, Precalculus | Sophomore: Geometry, Honors Geometry | Junior: Algebra II/Trigonometry, Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry, Accelerated Precalculus, AP Stats with Precalculus | Senior: Precalculus I, Precalculus II, Senior Math Topics, Advanced Studies in Geometry, Probability and Statistics, AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC

clubs & Activities

Electronics Club | Chemistry Club | Clavius Project | Digital Game Design Club | Math Club | Medical Careers Club | Robotics Club | Science Club | Audio Production Club | SLUH Sports Broadcasting Network | SLUHTube | Environmental Sustainability Club


  • Annual trip to Silicon Valley
  • Partnership with St. Louis Science Center furthers learning in genetics, engineering and biofuels
  • Excursions to Asynchrony Labs and other companies that use STEM
  • Math competitions
  • Science Olympiad
  • Ignatian Carbon Challenge
  • Super Mileage Challenge
  • World Wide Technology Hackathon and STEM Challenge
  • Robotics competitions
  • Trebuchet Challenge
  • Beverage Machine and Quad Copter projects

STEM: Environmental Science

Generators

Students investigated hydroelectric power and wind turbines as part of an energy unit. Since the majority of our electricity is produced with a turbine turning a generator, it made sense to start with generators. This gave the students a hands-on opportunity to investigate the relationships between electricity, magnetism, generators and motors.

Hydroelectric

Once the fundamentals of electromagnetism were understood, the students applied this knowledge to the construction of a simple hydroelectric generator, using water to turn the turbine, which in turn turned the generator, thus producing electricity. Current (amps) and potential (volts) were measured using Vernier probes and software, which allowed students to calculate the power output (Watts).

Wind

Lastly, students investigated the variables in wind turbine design, specifically how the number of blades, the pitch of the blades, the length of the blades, and wind speed effect power output. The students used this knowledge to compete against each other to design the wind turbine that would have the greatest power output. Once they had decided on an initial design, they would test it, evaluate the results, modify the design, and continue to test, evaluate, and modify until they were satisfied with their results.

HOW DO YOU MAKE BIODIESEL OUT OF WASTE OIL?

SLUH’s Environmental STEM class learned firsthand on November 16, 2016 with waste oil from the school’s food service.

First the students filtered the waste oil to remove the "chunkles" (a term coined by the Searle Biodiesel Program at Loyola Chicago), essentially all the solid particles and gunk that remains in the oil after cooking. Then, they titrated the waste oil to determine the amount of free fatty acids in the oil. The free fatty acids are produced when the cooking process breaks down the triglycerides (oil). Free fatty acids would interfere with the catalyst used to produce the biodiesel and the amount of catalyst needs to be adjusted accordingly. The students then prepared the catalyst, added the waste oil, and shook the mixture for 10 minutes to carry out the reaction (in Mason jars). The mixture was then poured into a separatory funnel. The biodiesel rose to the top and the glycerin settled to the bottom. The glycerin was removed and can be used to make soap.

The students will also measure the density, viscosity, heat of combustion, and soot production of their biodiesel and compare those results to commercial diesel and biodiesel they prepared earlier using virgin vegetable oil.

Our STEM program is supplemented with three computer labs, a robotics makerspace, a video editing lab, science labs, SLUH Community Garden, an aquaponics lab, and a tech theater area. We also have a wide array of equipment and technology, such as 3D printers, laptop carts for classroom use, student iPads, science probes, Smartboards, Apple TV and maker equipment in the robotics makerspace.

COMING SOON: Creative and Design Center for the development of students’ creative ideas in music, audio-visual, technology and art.

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