New Clubs and Classes STREAM™line Learning

Computer Science Class and Spanish Club Join the Dominican Line-Up

St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s curriculum STREAM™lines learning each year.  This school year is no exception.  Through the STREAM™ initiative, DHS offers its students several ways to learn about the six elements – Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math – that make up STREAM™.

Dominican has added Computer Science class to its curriculum for the 2017-2018 academic year. This class teaches computer technology skills while preparing students for future work in computer-related fields.  Offering this new class is one of the many ways to “put technology into the students’ hands,” said Mrs. Jennifer Drouant (‘93), assistant principal/academics.

In addition to delving into computer language, DHS broadens its foreign language offerings with the addition of the Spanish Club. The Spanish Club joins the French Club and Junior Classical League as a way students can participate in the foreign language of their choice through an outlet in addition to class.

Computer Science Class

Taking the “T” in STREAM™, DHS debuted the new Computer Science class this school year.  In this class, students learn skills such as coding, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.  Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have completed Algebra I and Geometry, the class familiarizes students with basic technology concepts in software development and information technology.  Computer Science teacher Ms. Charlene Ford (‘01)  said, “The coding/Computer Science field is exploding, and it needs women!”

Katie working

Senior Katie Mayer works on her Computer Science project in the Technology Center. She uses the coding skills learned in class to complete her project.  photo by Brooklyn Comeaux

Since the field is primarily male-dominated, this class will promote many girls’ interest in becoming involved in computer science work, according to Ms. Ford. After taking this class, students will gain a better understanding of computer skills and coding through class lessons such as technological marketing, creating games using codes and cyber security.

Class assignments involve utilizing a variety of technologies to solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.  Students also learn how diversity in teamwork improves product development.  Class activities for this year include coding basics; creative coding through games and apps; and constructing websites. According to Mrs. Drouant, “the students’ desire to become more educated and involved in technology” inspired this class.

There is an overwhelmingly positive student response to the new Computer Science class. Currently, Computer Science students are creating their own games through coding (system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages). Then the students play their own game and other classmates’ games to test each others’ creations. Try out some of the students games by clicking on these links: 17_L2C games for Star

Their work supports technopreneurship, simple entrepreneurship in a technology intensive context. It is a process of merging technology prowess and entrepreneurial talent and skills.  Through technopreneurship, the students experience what working with computer science in the real world would be like, according to Ms. Ford.  Her goal for the class is “to prepare the girls for future careers in all different fields of work.”  She said that these technological skills taught in the class will be useful to the students in any line of work, not just coding and computer science positions.

Foreign Language Clubs

El Club Español informa a los miembros del club de la herencia Española (The Spanish club informs eager club members of the Spanish heritage).  Senior Victoria Liu, club president, believes it is “important to inform people about Latin America and learn about the culture, speak Spanish, and eat foods from those specific countries.”  The club shares the Spanish culture with the entire Dominican community through various activities such as Spanish music and food.  Club moderator Mrs. Claudia Vallejo expects a successful year due to the large number of girls who have joined the club.  Club officers hope to kick-off the year with interesting and informative meetings concerning the Spanish culture, and they foresee a fulfilling year for the Spanish Club.

On découvre la nourriture, la langue et, bien sûr, la culture française aux reunions de Club Français (One discovers the food, language, and, of course, French culture at French Club meetings).  This club welcomes any student with a desire to learn more about the French culture.  Students are eager to celebrate French culture by learning about French speaking countries such as France, Belgium, and Canada.  Students also get to try several French dishes, such as crêpes, French king cake and various cheeses.  Also during meetings, members engage in French auditory and verbal activities to practice the language for events such as convention.

 Iunior Anticus Confederatio culturam mundi antiqui explorat (The Junior Classical League explores the culture of the Ancient World).  At this club’s meetings, JCL members learn about ancient Roman culture through videos, presentations and activities.  Club member Renee Breaux, senior, said the club takes field trips to the opera and attends the Fall Forum, which is a mini state competition.  To share the Latin culture with DHS through a visual presentation for all, the JCL presents the Ancient Cultural Showcase during the third quarter.  Club moderator Dr. Wayne Rupp, Latin teacher, said those who attend the Ancient Cultural Showcase will leave “educated and entertained.”

Dominican’s curriculum keeps the students prepared for the next year and  ready to “pursue future careers,” said Mrs. Drouant, in numerous fields, including foreign and computer languages.

  • Brooklyn Comeaux