Father Judge High School opens new STEM center

The art of science: Students at Father Judge’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program design engineer projects and make models based on their research. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTO

Father Judge High School welcomes eighth-grade boys and their parents to visit its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics center.

Judge, at 3301 Solly Ave. (at Rowland Avenue), will open its doors on Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m.

The evening will include registration for the class of 2018, along with a financial aid workshop. There will also be a presentation on STEM, which was officially dedicated on Jan. 27.

The center, located in rooms 313 and 314, was blessed by the Rev. Joseph Campellone, president of Judge, and the Rev. James Dalton, principal of the school.

At Judge, the belief is that STEM will help the school attract, cultivate and prepare students to be innovators and technical leaders.

The STEM program was started by Judith A. Ramaley, the former director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human resources division. The idea is to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem solving, discovery and exploratory learning, and that requires students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solutions.

“That’s education at Judge now,” Dalton said.

The four parts of STEM have been taught separately and most of the time independent from each other for years, but that has changed.

“We need to be training young people today for future jobs that don’t even exist yet,” said Greg Kennedy, director of education at the Southampton-based National AeroSpace Training and Research Center.

Casey Carter, CEO of the Faith in the Future Foundation, which manages the 17 high schools and four special education schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said initiatives such as STEM help good schools become great ones.

Carter was joined at the dedication by Christopher Mominey, secretary for Catholic education, and Carol Cary, superintendent for secondary schools.

State Rep. John Sabatina Jr., a 1988 Father Judge graduate, and City Councilman Bobby Henon were also in attendance.

“We need to be ready for the future, and it starts right here,” said Henon, co-chairman of the city’s Manufacturing Task Force.

Father Judge will also host a STEM summer camp from June 23–27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is open to students entering seventh or eighth grade.

The camp costs $100, which includes all equipment and supplies. It will feature lessons, projects and hands-on activities, all conducted by certified STEM instructors, that are related to science, technology, engineering and math. ••

For information, call the school at 215–338–9494 or email stem@fatherjudge.com