Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Lutheran schools offer competitive science programs

School supplies and new clothes are often on the shopping list for families with school-age children. Schools themselves also come up with new courses and tweaks in their curriculum. Lutheran schools are no different in that respect.

For example, this fall Concordia Academy (Roseville) officially became a STEM2 certified high school. The STEM2 program is a curriculum offering an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.

What is unique about the Concordia Academy STEM2 program is that it blends with the Christian teachings offered in other areas of study. Traditionally mathematics and sciences are secular courses but, in the tradition of Concordia Academy, they become centered in faith.

Michael Scheller (left), Jessica Manthey, and Bruce Urban, STEM2 instructor at Concordia Academy, conduct an experiment as part of the new program. Photos provided by Concordia Academy

“The idea behind the STEM2 program at Concordia Academy is that it will prepare students to become Christian leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.”

“The idea behind the STEM2 program at Concordia Academy is that it will prepare students to become Christian leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine,” explained the Rev. Dr. Timothy Berner, principal of Concordia Academy.

In order for students to complete the STEM2 program, they must take rigorous coursework in STEM2 areas, create and complete a senior project, and do an internship in one of the STEM2 program areas. Concordia Academy is partnering with local Christian businesses to aid in placing students in their internships.

Upon graduation, students will receive an emphasis in STEM2 that will be on their diploma and transcripts. This emphasis will help those looking to pursue STEM2 program professions and ideally will assist in college and graduate school admissions. It will also give students the opportunity to explore these career paths prior to committing to them during their collegiate studies.

Science, creative writing, and sports

At Mayer Lutheran High School in Mayer, Minnesota, Principal Kevin Wilaby reports that a new program emphasizing good writing has been inaugurated. The program of good writing traits called “Six Plus One” is being implemented throughout the school. He said the program will establish common language traits so that evaluation of students’ writing is objective rather than subjective. Mayer Lutheran has had a STEM academic program for four years and now has a robotics and renewable energy emphasis.

At St. Croix Lutheran High School, West St. Paul, Minnesota, the new school year included the addition of advanced placement U.S. history and the start of Project Lead the Way, a STEM program, in grades 6-8. Todd Russ, dean of academics, says it will take four years to fully implement the program through grade 12.

Logan Ferozzo and Lorenzo Davis, students at Concordia Academy, use microscopes as part of a STEM2 lesson.

For the football team, some things change while others stay the same. St. Croix Lutheran started the new season with a resounding victory over Providence Academy 36-14. It was a rematch of St. Croix Crusaders’ victory over Providence in the 2011 Class 3A semi-finals.

That impressive season start was tempered with a word of caution by the Crusaders running back Jackson Goplen, who said, “We know we’re a target for other teams.” Russ noted that in addition to its strong football season start, the volleyball team is also off to a good start.

St. Croix Lutheran Schools includes a middle and high school. WELS elementary schools in multiple Twin City locations feed into these options. Additional information is available by calling 651/455-1521.

Additional information about Concordia Academy is available by calling 651/484-8429.

Mayer Lutheran High School is located in the west metro area and celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding this year. Additional information is available by calling 952/657-2251.

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