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Each Spring, EC’s STEAM department, led by chair Philip Verrengia, hosts a STEAM Celebration. It’s an evening for STEAM students to highlight their project development. But at last year’s celebration, something especially exciting happened: Our first three students graduated from the program!

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. EC’s STEAM program focuses on these disciplines because they are deeply intertwined in the real world. A primary goal of STEAM at EC is to equip our students to be people of Christian vision and influence in a world that is increasingly placing an emphasis on technology and engineering.

To highlight the program’s success, Samantha Frank, Steve Blanco, and Andrew Park each presented their projects to a full house of family, friends, students, and school staff! While STEAM students now must enter the program as freshmen, Samantha, Steve, and Andrew were the first of our students to begin the program in their sophomore year. Their projects are the culmination of hard work and perseverance, particularly in trial and error and research.

Sam’s project explored the effect smell has on memory, specifically in patients with memory loss syndromes like Alzheimer’s Disease.

Steve explored the viability of using Vitamin D as a natural sunscreen, and looked at the possibility of Vitamin D acting as a natural skin cancer deterrent. Further, he began the creation of a sunscreen that uses these same principals.

Andrew developed a drone that has the potential to deliver critical, life-saving supplies to people in rural areas or in urban centers where heavy traffic might create a dangerously slow response time of medical personnel in emergency situations.

Their projects were phenomenal. Using visual aids, presentations, and posters, our graduates presented their projects clearly and concisely, and answered question from the crowd following. Graduation requirements meant they had to create a dissertation and be able to defend their findings.

We are so proud of our STEAM graduates! Congratulations to Sam, Steve, and Andrew! We can’t wait to see what you do in the future. Thanks to their STEAM mentors, Todd Elder, Eric Boonstra, and Petra van’t Slot.

EC’s STEAM program is open to incoming 9th graders. Interested students must apply for a place in the program. Students whose applications demonstrate extraordinary aptitude in math and science, based on test scores, science and math grades, and teacher recommendations are considered. Additionally, students must receive a placement in Earth Science Honors and Geometry Honors in their 9th grade year.

Amy Shepley

By: Amy Shepley

Amy Shepley is Eastern Christian High School's Student Services Support. An EC mom, Amy's welcoming personality is perfect for students and parents as the student services team helps them navigate God's plans for their future beyond our walls

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