, a Catholic school for girls in Cleveland Heights, unveiled its new STEM addition with a ribbon cutting on Monday, January 5th, re-emphasizing its commitment to science, technology, engineering and math and education with the $9.5 million building. “Our science facilities were over 50 years old,” says Beaumont president Sister Gretchen Rodenfels. “I graduated in 1965 and we were using the same science equipment today.”
The movement to improve STEM education for girls has been growing, and Rodenfels says Beaumont has proven in recent years that girls do excel in science and math. “Really, in the United States, students are not as prepared in science, technology, engineering and math as other developed countries,” says Rodenfels. "Now we have eight science rooms, four prep rooms and all new equipment. Each room is dedicated to a different area of the curriculum.”
In fact, Rodenfels says a STEM education provides well-rounded preparation for any field the students choose. “If you are strong in STEM skills, that can be transferred to any career – deductive reasoning, collaboration, problem solving.”
For the past two years, Beaumont students have participated in the Alliance for Working Together
's (AWT) annual RoboBot Competition
. “The first year we had the only all-girls team and the guys were making wisecracks,” says Rodenfels. “The following year we came in third at nationals.”
Additionally, the new wing has administration and guidance offices, a clinic, a two-story student common area with outdoor patio and a new front entrance. Construction began on the 25,000 square-foot building in September 2013.