Gesu dedicates new STREAM center
On Sept. 10, Gesu Catholic School hosted a Mass of Thanksgiving and Dedication of the new Gesu Educational Center for STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) Learning. Pastor Fr. Karl Kiser, SJ, Principal Lucy Iemmolo, STREAM Coordinator Marjorie Gessner, and eighth-grader Annie K. Koppitch all spoke to the donors and guests about the new STREAM center and the opportunities it is providing the 630-plus students at Gesu.
The $1.1 million renovation project and STREAM initiative began about three years ago and, with the funds raised, the school began construction in fall 2016. The construction occurred in three phases, with phase one including a new science lab. In phase two, the largest renovation, the old religious education center transformed into a modern STREAM Center featuring two maker spaces, a classroom, two offices and a renovated chapel. The new spaces feature a laser cutter, three 3D printers, one large and two small vinyl cutters, two sewing machines, a T-shirt press, a poster maker and two Clevertouch boards. In the final phase of construction, which occurred this past summer, the Art Room, Boy Scout/Community Room and hallways received fresh paint, flooring, lighting and furniture.
The faculty and staff have worked to integrate STREAM into the school’s kindergarten through eighth-grade curriculum. STREAM education emphasizes problem-based learning, in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended problem. Students often work in teams to discuss and analyze the problems and possible solutions. The faculty continues to participate in professional development and modify its teachings so they are modern and impactful on student achievement.
The Cleveland Clinic Civic Education Department recently recognized Gesu as a “Cleveland Clinic Banner School.” This award recognizes the school’s success in leveraging community resources to advance student learning.
To strengthen and enhance the STREAM initiative, Gesu has established formal and informal relationships with higher education institutions, businesses and community organizations. These partners support Gesu’s STREAM program by providing learning experiences, materials, and financial support. To date the following organizations have formally partnered with Gesu’s STREAM initiative: John Carroll University, Hyland Software, Cleveland Clinic, Ursuline College, Cleveland Museum of Art and Accenture.
Mary Kate Farrar
Mary Kate Farrar, a former resident of University Heights, is development director for Gesu school and parish.