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Bishop Diego High School Launches STEM Curriculum

More than $250,000 is pledged for a $1.2 million science-wing renovation, and a new STEM Academy will open for 2010-11

Bishop Garcia Diego High School recently announced the launch of its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program during an informal gathering of parents and community supporters at the home of Maria and Joe Fazio.

The cornerstone of Bishop’s focus on STEM curriculum will be the $1.2 million campaign to renovate its science wing. The renovation will create a state-of-the-art learning environment for the high school students, while offering specialized studies through its new STEM Academy, set to open for enrollment on the Bishop campus for the 2010-11 school year.

Hosts for the Sept. 19 event, the Fazios, are Bishop High parents. Maria Fazio is a Bishop High board member and a member of the board of John Hopkins University.

Danny Kwock, honorary chairman of the Science Wing Renovation Committee and a Bishop High parent, addressed the guests. He spoke of Bishop High’s focus on goal setting, necessary for a student’s college acceptance and performance while in college, its integration into campus life of grace and giving back to the community, and Bishop High’s dedication to leading the way as a “green” school, incorporating solar technologies into the new construction as well as the curriculum. By evening’s end, more than $250,000 was contributed, with two donors pledging $100,000 each.

Also in attendance and available to chat with attendees were four of Bishop High’s STEM teachers, each of whom have earned doctoral degrees. Three-dimensional drawings of the planned facility were unveiled, and informational packets were provided, which included a recap of Bishop’s strategic plan for capital improvements.

Since 2002, more than $5 million in capital upgrades have been completed. The most recent plan achievements support the technology aspect of Bishop’s STEM program and include the new 32-student Apple computer lab, the upgrade of the 24-student PC Lab, the 12-student computer work stations within the library and the introduction of NComputing in the math department.

Bishop High has a 50-year history of serving the Santa Barbara community. The science wing renovation and STEM Academy announcement addresses Bishop High’s commitment to prepare students with 21st-century skills: problem solving, self-direction and the integration of technology requiring an unprecedented facility with computer applications.

To learn more about STEM studies and inquire about admissions to the STEM Academy for the 2010-11 school year, contact Dr. Paul Harrington at 805.967.1266 x 115. To become a part of the renovation project, contact Advancement Director Lori Willis at 805.967.1266 x 119.

— Lori Willis is the advancement director at Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

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