A Catholic all-boys high school has a established a brand new innovation center. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Kenmore has created an environment for high-tech learning.
St. Joe's President Robert Scott and the school's Director of Technology, Steve Koniarczyk, showed off their new space at 810 Kenmore Avenue. It's located directly across the street from the main school building.
The school received the site as a gift from a benefactor. As of Friday, a few minor construction details were being completed for what will be the Innovation Center/Makerspace.
“This year we have mechanical structures, we have digital electronics, we have coding online as a course. We have AP Physics. We have design technology for freshman that’s really a performing arts course,” Scott said.
“We’re really trying to tie them together now more. We’re trying to integrate arts for example with math, with science,” Koniarczyk explained.
Koniarczyk helped to design the new curriculum: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics — known as STEAM.
“That’s the most amazing part is the strong demand for it already. We’re kind of catching up to this demand," Koniarczyk remarked. "One example is we were looking at the different coding or computer programing opportunities within our school and really quickly. We developed an online coding class that we wanted accessible to all grade levels.”
President Scott tells us the focus is how to best prepare students for their futures.
“I guess we are kind of at a nexus right now of what our young people hope to do and what we can provide for them,” Scott noted.
Scott is most excited about the new space providing a new for St. Joe’s Robotics team a place to build. They’re on a mission over the next six weeks to build a robot for a competition in Rochester.
“This is the area where we anticipate the playing field for robotics will be. It’s unbelievably a big space and they’re really going to enjoy it,” Scott remarked.
“It’s pretty incredible. I will be sitting in my office and I’ll see a robot flying down the hallway,” Koniarczyk recalls.
“We have a first robotics team and I’ve got to say we are only one of four in Western New York with one,” Scott noted.