Technology is a natural part of teaching and learning here.
Women are perpetually under represented in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design, mathematics) fields, and as an all-girls school we are particularly well-suited to address the deficit.
National Coalition of Girls' Schools research shows that girls' school graduates are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering careers compared to girls who attend coed schools.
SEM graduates are well-prepared for a future expanded by opportunities to learn beyond the walls of their classroom, by seamless access to information, and by teachers who appreciate the creative possibilities inherent in technology.
Dynamic and engaging teachers will always be the most important component of a SEM education but full technology integration offers additional resources for creative instruction.
The SEM Librarian teaches Digital Literacy and Research & Information Literacy to freshmen and sophomores. Information Literacy is a framework for understanding, finding, evaluating, and using information supported by specific research skills development, but most importantly through critical discernment and reasoning. It initiates and extends lifelong learning through abilities that may use technologies but are ultimately independent of them.
The Librarian also maintains the physical and online library resources and aims to integrate them as well as information literacy skills throughout the curriculum.
The freshman STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, Mathematics) Exploration program is taught over a year in trimesters:
- Explore Coding introduces our youngest students to basic concepts and career opportunities in computer science.
- Explore Engineering introduces our youngest students to basic concepts and career opportunities in engineering.
- Explore "Make It" addresses the art & design element of STEAM and explores the current DIY movement and teaches concepts and career opportunities in 3D design and printing.
Introduction to Computer Science
Students learn computer programming concepts using the object-oriented Python language. This teacher-facilitated course uses an online platform with tutorials and projects. We meet as a class only 2 shorts each rotation.Students should expect to spend approx. 4-5 hours per rotation working on the course material outside of class.
What's your favorite App? Do you have a great idea for an even better one? In this class, you will learn how to design and market your own App. In teams of 3 or 4, students focus on a problem and design an App to solve it. Ms. Adamczyk and Ms. Kelly team up to guide you through learning the basics of App programming and the basics of creating a business plan and a marketing strategy. Student teams test their ideas and pitch to the SEM community. The final step is making the App live on Google Play or the App Store. The class prerequisites are enthusiasm and ability to work in a team; we meet as class 2 shorts each rotation but students should expect to work about 5 hours per rotation on the course material outside of class.
Video Game Design
This teacher-facilitated online course for students with a serious interest in the field of game design incorporates video lectures, an online game design lab, and a final game design project. The course provides a hands-on introduction to the following areas of game design: history of game development, industry terminology, game theory, game documentation, developing characters, level design and environment, game structure and mechanics, common design theories, game development careers, and ethics in video games. We meet as a class only 2 shorts each rotation.Students should expect to spend approx. 4-5 hours per rotation working on the course material outside of class.
AP Computer Science Principles
Through our partnership with the Online School for Girls, students interested in pursuing a computer science career take this course online. The course investigates the “big ideas” found in our digital world such as the creativity in finding solutions to authentic problems, how data and information are used to forecast events and predict behaviors, and the global impacts of technology and the internet. Students prepare for the AP Computer Science Principles exam in May.
AP Computer Science A
Through our partnership with the Online School for Girls, students interested in pursuing a computer science career take this course online. The course introduces the key concepts and techniques of object-oriented programming in Java. The analytic, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills developed in this course transfer to programming in other languages on a variety of platforms. Students prepare for the AP Computer Science A exam in May.