Student Teach, Learn at STEAM Studio

After being introduced to the STEAM Studio in the fall of 2015 by its founders David Reid of Gould Evans and Dr. Mandi Sonnenberg of Rockhurst University, Rockhurst High School educators immediately saw an opportunity to merge two qualities of the Jesuit Profile of Graduate at Graduation: "Committed to Justice" and "Intellectually Competent."

As volunteer mentors, Rockhurst High School students would help elementary and middle school students complete projects involving robotics, drones, programming, 3D Printers, and other STEAM subjects.  However, Rockhurst students did not need any prerequisite knowledge.  

“Since our Rockhurst boys are older and more experienced than the younger students, they were able to figure out what they need to know on the job.  In this way, they were learning as mentor teachers,” said Mr. Greg Owsley ’00, STEAM Director.  “The Rockhurst students really enjoyed the experience of helping others while also rapidly learning at the same time.”

During the 2015-2016 school year, more than 25 students volunteer as mentors. This past year, more than 50 students volunteered.  In addition, three Rockhurst High mentors joined Dr. Sonnenberg and her graduate students for a presentation on the STEAM Studio at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference in Denver in front of close to 20,000 educators. 

Recently, one Rockhurst mentor was recognized for his extensive work with the STEAM Studio.  Junior Krishon Harris (pictured above) was invited to the STEAM Studio Luncheon on May 3, and was presented the STEAM Studio Mentor of the Year Award.

“To me, winning the Mentor of the Year Award means that I’m making a difference; all of my hard work and dedication to the STEAM Studio have been worthy contributions,” Harris said.  “I started working with the Studio as a service project to get my required hours out of the way.  However, I instantly fell in love with the project.”

Harris’ technological skills and eagerness to help are just as noticeable here at Rockhurst as they are at the STEAM Studio.  Before and after school and during any free period, Harris can usually be found in Rockhurst’s Tech Desk, located in the student commons.  His inviting smile and wide array of talents assist countless students (and even some teachers) every week.  His duties include providing tech support for iPads, apps, and textbooks; developing the Tech Desk website; assisting with the freshmen iPad registration night and Open House; and posting updates on the Tech Desk Twitter feed. 

“Most of the school - faculty and students alike - don't realize how important Krishon is to the school.  Often times, students are afraid to ask for help for fear of looking ignorant, but Krishon doesn't make people feel foolish,” said Mr. Brandon Jones, Educational Technologist.  “He helps students recover lost notes and assignments on a daily basis.  He helps students print and figure out how to make the iPad work in almost any situation.  He is a crucial cog in making our 1:1 iPad program work.”

For more information about the STEAM Studio, visit here:

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Rockhurst High School

Established in 1910 - Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

9301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO 64114-3299     816.363.2036