STREAM Synergy initiative sharpens curriculum with a focus on faith

October 22, 2019

HOUSTON — At an Oct. 14 Catholic Schools in-service, the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office announced its new STREAM Synergy initiative to all faculty and staff members of Catholic school communities. 

Most people are familiar with the idea of the STEM curriculum, which emphasizes the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. However, over the last decade, many studies determined that including the fine and performing arts in curriculum provides a more in-depth and well-rounded educational opportunity for students across the country. 

The STREAM movement in Catholic schools acknowledges the benefits of including all the areas discussed within the framework of the curriculum, infusing religion across all fields; much as Catholic identity permeates all aspects of the life of a Catholic school. 

Through the STREAM Synergy initiative, Catholic schools that choose to offer STREAM activities, classes and events would sign up through the Catholic Schools Office. 

The announcement and implementation of the STREAM Synergy initiative in Catholic schools marks a significant benchmark by the Catholic Schools Office and campus administrations to ever elevate learning standards. 

The inclusion of a lens of ethics, faith and moral citizenship increases the opportunities available to the students as they benefit from a challenging and forward-moving curriculum that will better prepare them for higher education and the global marketplace beyond. 

10 keys to a STREAM school

Schools who implement the new STREAM Synergy initiative will agree to the following National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) goals:

1. To incorporate Catholic identity into every aspect of the curriculum through student-directed, project-based experiential instruction.

2. To be forward-thinking, faith-based institutions that place a high priority on faculty training, learning, leadership and 21st-century skill applications.

3. To provide a challenging learning environment that is focused on the integration of religion into science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

4. To increase the content literacy of all students in every aspect of the curriculum, while maintaining a Catholic educational foundation.

5. To operate with the premise that math and science competencies can be developed, and that every student needs access to a STREAM curriculum to be fully engaged, 21st-century learners.

6. To promote a climate of innovation in all areas of instruction.

7. To inspire the participation of student populations who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and the arts.

8. To foster a climate that encourages problem-solving, group collaboration, student-directed learning and independent research.

9. To understand that success is defined in multiple ways and can — and does — occur in many different types of schools and learning environments.

10. To utilize strategic planning as a blueprint to guide the development and implementation of the STREAM curriculum.