Science and Technology
21st century life has been fundamentally shaped by developments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ("STEM"), as such it is the responsibility of educators to teach students how to be proficient in the STEM subjects and their use. However it can also be argued that there is a risk that children may become incapable of functioning effectively without the use of technology and at RCA we believe that it also the responsibility of educators to teach students the foundational educational building blocks to ensure that they can function effectively in society without the use of a calculator/computer/internet/phone etc.
At RCA students are given both the foundational building blocks of knowledge PLUS the ability to use technology appropriately. For example, students are required to learn their times tables but also taught to use Scientific calculators: they are taught how to plot and interpret graphs, write a laboratory report and research paper using pencil and paper but are also taught similar skills using a computer: and they are taught how to appropriately use the internet for research and education but they are also warned against and prepared for their potential future exposure to the more negative aspects of the internet and social media.
At RCA we believe that children have a right to have a childhood that includes play and conversation, as such students are not allowed to use mobile phones or personal gaming devices during school hours. They are encouraged to learn how to use 21st century technology in a mature and positive manner throughout their RCA education with a focus upon age appropriate human interaction with their peers and elders in class, at recess, and in outside school hours.
Teachers have access to online learning tools and resources in all of the classrooms and work to ensure that the students are given the full benefit of interactive multimedia learning. All student computers are filtered for content to ensure only appropriate material is accessed. RCA staff take time to teach the students the benefits and dangers of online accessibility and, as appropriate, social media.
In recognition of the important role of Science in the 21st Century RCA has developed a unique Science program with a Christian worldview that challenges and stimulates the students to think about our world from a scientific point of view. From Grade 4 onwards Science is taught in our own Science Laboratory, giving the students an insight into high school Science teaching conditions and expectations. Students are taught how to do experiments, Laboratory Reports, and Research Reports to prepare them for their transition into Grade 9.
Grade 6,7 & 8 students are invited to participate in the annual "Lets Talk Science" Canadian Science Challenge held at the University of Waterloo. This intensive program requires that students learn material from eight streams of scientific studies and also prepare for a design challenge that can be drawn from any one of the following subjects:-
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, Space Science, Earth Science, Engineering and Technology, Mathematics
Below are some examples of what the students learn on the computer at RCA.
JK, SK, Grade 1 & 2 - Letterland and other educational games/exercises.
Grade 3 - Mathletics online and educational games
Grade 4 - Typing Adventure online, Mathletics, educational games
Grade 5 - Typing Agent, Mathletics, Word & PowerPoint.
Grade 6 - Typing Agent, Mathletics, Word & PowerPoint.
Grade 7 & 8 - full computer course.