STEAM Award Winner, Jeanelle Dao

We are thrilled to announce that San Jose Middle School student Jeanelle Dao took home the $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by the Lemelson foundation to a young inventor who creates a promising solution to a real-world problem. Jeanelle invented a foot-controlled welcome mat that wirelessly unlocks a door when the user enters the correct code. The STEAM-inspired device is intended to help people with arthritis and other hand problems become more self-reliant. 

Check out this video of Jeanelle where she talks about her award-winning STEAM invention inspired by her grandfather’s battle with arthritis. “Making the project required a lot of time, research, and effort, but it was rewarding knowing the amount of knowledge I gained and how relevant it is to my personal life,” says Jeanelle.

Broadcom MASTERS Award Winners Jeanelle received the prestigious award in Washington DC while participating in the 2022 Broadcom MASTERS®, a program of the Society for Science, where she was also named as a Top 300 finalist out of 1,807 entrants throughout the United States. The top 30 finalists will be announced later this month.

International STEM/STEAM Day Celebrations

Last week we also celebrated the power of STEAM learning with International STEM/STEAM Day. Stratford School is founded on the principle that Science, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics are key components of learning. Our curriculum is built upon the tenet that all children are natural scientists with innate curiosities, therefore we foster hands-on experiences where our students have the opportunity to think and act like scientists on a daily basis. 

Preschoolers practice their STEAM skills with coding gamesOur preschoolers start their STEAM journey early through observation and experimentation.  Step inside a classroom with exciting sounds and playful investigations during our unit, ramps, and pathways. What might seem like simple play is actually quite complex, as children tackle big ideas around energy, force, and motion. After exploring the relationship between materials, the learning culminates in a design challenge: build a system that a marble can move through. Our engineers eagerly build, test, and try again until they achieve success together. In addition to feeling a sense of accomplishment, the children begin to understand how mistakes are opportunities to learn–a lesson for a lifetime.

Students solve real-world problems with STEAM skillsMoving into Elementary school, our students begin to take those early engineering and coding skills to the next level, by using everyday objects like bananas and Scratch coding skills to power their Makey-Makey robots. This is where they begin to work on solving real-world problems in their signature projects such as our recent 2022 Design For Change Ambassadors at our Santa Clara Winchester campus who set out to identify tangible ways they to contribute to sustainable development goals. Together, kindergarten, first, and second-grade students combined their efforts to help educate their own families and community with an eBook titled “Recipes to Strengthen Life in Our Community”. Their goal is to help people of all ages find actionable ways to help prevent food waste, advocate for endangered species, and take action against insect biodiversity loss in our ecosystem. As part of their project, students also built their own Eco Couch from recycled water bottles and discarded plastics. We are proud to report that our student ambassadors are currently in Malaysia, participating in the International Design for Change Conference this month.

Middle School students design Future Cities, putting STEAM into actionOnce our students reach middle school they are designing infrastructure for future cities, testing out their aerospace engineering skills, and entering their solution-based inventions in science fair competitions like the Broadcom MASTERS®. Now, at our new Stratford Preparatory High School, students will have the opportunity to continue their advanced STEAM-centered learning, as they investigate the biochemical basis of life with atomic and molecular bond analysis in biology and compare the interaction of gravitational and other life forces to explore and explain energy transformation in physics. Throughout their school years, Stratford’s cross-curricular approach to STEAM learning is intentionally designed to give students a leg up as they prepare for college and careers in which their STEAM knowledge, creative problem-solving, and adept leadership skills will be in high demand. 

At Stratford, every day is essentially International STEM/STEAM day for our students. To learn more about our advanced STEAM-infused curriculum, take a tour of a campus near you or visit our website to learn more about our Preschool, Elementary, Middle, and High School programs.