For future success in school and careers, students learn through an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates design thinking. Our STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) program encourages students to understand problems, brainstorm ideas, and develop prototypes of their recommended solutions. They embrace their mistakes, learn from negative outcomes, and work to improve in the future.
Kindergarten through Grade 3 students have iPads® available for independent and group work using a variety of apps that support all content areas. Our 1:1 program for students in Grades 4 through 8 focuses on using technological tools to support student-centered and collaborative learning tasks that could not be accomplished without the use of technology. Grade 4 and 5 students are each assigned an iPad® for use at school. Middle School students (Grades 6-8) are each assigned an iPad® that may be used both at school and home. With access to various technologies, our students will continue to practice the valuable skills of creativity, team work, communication, critical thinking, self-reflection and global citizenship.
Spaces on our Campuses
IDEA Lab – Lower School
The IDEA Lab is modeled after the Thinkabit Lab at Qualcomm. The IDEA Lab is a space where students in Grades K through 5 use the design process to create, manipulate, collaborate and innovate. This makerspace environment enables students to use professional tools such as a 3D printer, laptop computers, iPads®, breadboards, circuitry, EV3 Lego Mindstorms, etc., that prepare them for careers in STEM fields.
ET (Engineering and Technology) Lab – Middle School
The new Middle School ET Lab allows students to use creativity, perseverance, and problem-solving skills to engage in authentic design challenges and engineering projects. In our sprawling ET Lab, students currently have access to several hands-on tools and toys, such as an Ultimaker 3D printer, VEX robotics, Arduino microcontrollers, LEGO robotics, and coding/programming software used on a class-set of MacBook Air laptops.
Music & Recording Studios – Lower and Middle Schools
In our music and recording studios, students in Grades 3 through 8 use MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to write, compose and record their own music. Students use Yamaha keyboards, Cubase software and computers or iPads® to edit their music. This technology not only serves students in music classes but also benefits students in other disciplines as they create podcasts, radio plays, films and documentaries to demonstrate their understanding of a vast array of topics.
School Events in STEM
Science Fair (Lower School and Middle School)
Our Science Fairs showcase student work from Kindergarten through Grade 8. Families can participate in interactive experiments and activities in the primary grades and older students present their projects to interested audiences.
Music, Technology, and Engineering Expo (Middle School)
The Music, Technology, and Engineering Expo allows our Middle School students to showcase culminating projects music, technology and engineering classes. Students use the design thinking process in these classes.
Student Awards in STEM
Rhoades students participate in many math competitions throughout the year. Some highlights include national awards for American Mathematics Competitions 8 (AMC8), top 25% team results in MathCounts, national awards in Math Kangaroo and top 5% in Math Olympians for Elementary Schools (MOEMS).
Each year, many of our MS students participate in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair (GSDSEF), earning top honors and awards, acquiring a myriad of professional awards, and qualifying for the California Science and Engineering Fair.
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