Immaculate Conception Newburyport: Innovation inspires learning
The Immaculate Conception School's most recent expansion of STEM integration for student learning is the creation of the IC Innovation Lab. The lab is a flexible learning space designed to provide students and faculty with the opportunity to explore the engineering design process, engage in project-based learning, STEM and makerspace activities. The IC Innovation Lab will foster the development of critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and communication skills of students in grades K-eight to prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Cross-curricular projects and activities, including 3D design and printing, coding, micro computing, robotics, digital video and photography with a new green-screen wall, and a range of makerspace projects, offers the opportunity to spark student interest with the curriculum through a creative approach.
The creation of the green-screen wall was inspired by interest in animation and video by IC students. Seventh-grade student Jude Anderson-Song researched and presented an animation project for the school's 2022 Science Fair, which led to a conversation with faculty about the possibility of integrating animation with his studies. Sixth grader Jack Grayson also shared his interest in stop-motion animation with faculty. Tapping into the interests of students and incorporating those ideas into everyday learning inspired the creation of the Innovation Lab, an example of the IC's dedication to providing individualized learning experiences in a student-centered Catholic learning environment.
Professional development and support for IC faculty is essential as they begin to use the Innovation Lab for project-based learning and STEM activities. The faculty benefits from a curriculum coordinator and a technology coach who consistently collaborate and guide instruction, model application of new methods, and expand both teacher and student understanding to maximize the student-centered learning experience.
Immaculate Conception School celebrates 140 years of Catholic tradition and academic excellence. We continue to adhere to the original mission of our school: to communicate Catholic Christian values, provide a quality academic program, and develop an awareness, empathy, and respect for the needs of all people. Students at Immaculate Conception are ambitious, responsible, and committed to serving their community through volunteer work. Our students go on to attend many top-tier high schools in the area, including Central Catholic, Bishop Fenwick, St. John Prep, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Governor's Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, Pingree School, Berwick Academy, as well as area public schools. IC student's strong academia and faith-driven nature are acknowledged and appreciated by these institutions.
We are co-educational, serving approximately 220 boys and girls from PreK through eighth grade from 15 surrounding communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In PreK and kindergarten, the student/teacher ratio is 8:1. In grades first through eighth, the average class size is 23 students. The IC offers financial aid to all students.
We invite you to take a tour of Immaculate Conception School in beautiful downtown Newburyport, to hear about the many opportunities that we offer, and see the benefits of a Catholic education. Schedule a tour today!
We look forward to sharing Immaculate Conception School with you! Joan Fowler Sullivan, principal, firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-465-7780. Website: www.icsnewburyport.com.
KELLY HAGUE IS A TEACHER AND LAURA CAPOBIANCO IS TECHNOLOGY COORDINATOR AND COACH AT IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SCHOOL, NEWBURYPORT.