By Kevin Yaley, Francis Parker School
One of the major goals in Parker’s recently approved Strategic Plan is to inspire academic excellence through the design and development of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Program. This STEAM Program will provide our students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired in content area courses centered around specific themes (e.g., power and energy, movement, communication, invention and design, music, technology, etc.) and self-selected projects. Students will integrate art and design into the JK to Grade 12 science, math, and technology curriculum, acquiring the essential skills of flexible thinking, risk-taking, and creative problem solving.
Currently, Parker Upper School students are exposed to several meaningful STEAM related opportunities including the robotics program. Our robotics program is part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Program. The Parker team – known as the W.A.R. (We Are Robotics) Lords – has been competing locally and nationally for years. As part of the competition, every FIRST teams is given a specific parameters along with a kit of parts and are challenged to build and program a robot with start to finish. The robots will then compete in a series of exercises at the annual competitions.
In October, eight female Parker students attended the
2nd Annual Convergence of Women, Technology, and Innovation,
hosted by Qualcomm. The conference provided young women the opportunity to network, learn, and listen to motivational speakers, such as those by former MIT President Susan Hockfield and selected Executive Vice Presidents from Qualcomm. Anoushka Bose, member of the Parker W.A.R. Lords and recent winner of a national STEAM competition aimed at empowering girls in grades 9-12 to discover their potential and future in the world of STEAM, noted “It was inspiring to see so many women involved in technology and innovation in our local community, and trying to promote a pipeline of women into scientific fields of study.”
Francis Parker School is dedicated to providing our students with the tools and skills necessary to think critically, design, develop, and execute an ideas, and work collaboratively with others to bring STEAM projects to completion. Please visit
to learn more about how our commitment to STEAM-related opportunities.