…preparing young students for careers that don’t even exist yet!

Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics

stem graphpaper

S.T.E.M. Education is a federal initiative:

(1) to secure America’s leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and, (2) to identify promising strategies for strengthening the education that leads to S.T.E.M. careers.


Allendale Columbia Lower School S.T.E.M. Teachers:  


Donna Chaback


Sue Sorrentino







View our Award-Winning S.T.E.M. Video below:

Spotlight on STEM from VistaTeachInstructionalServices on Vimeo.

Video Highlights from one of our exciting S.T.E.M. Expo’s at Allendale Columbia School:

3rd Grade STEM Expo 2013 from VistaTeachInstructionalServices on Vimeo.

IASL Award_ Photo_3

Allendale Columbia School S.T.E.M. Teachers are International S.T.E.M. Award Recipients. Left to Right: Former U.S. Representative, Zachary Wamp; Lower School S.T.E.M. Teachers Donna Chaback and Sue Sorrentino; Founder, International Association for S.T.E.M. Leaders, Dr. Carole Inge

Our S.T.E.M. students are:

  • Learning from a Team of former corporate engineering professionals who are also experienced and NYS Certified Teachers, and Recipients of the 2014 Corporate K-12 STEM Innovation Award by the International Association for STEM Leaders at their invitation-only, STEM Forum in Washington, D.C.
  • Scheduled for lengthy, 75-minute class sessions
  • Provided with high-end, professional equipment and proprietary curricula infused with real world engineering principles and professional practices
  • Integrating evolving technologies throughout their learning experiences
  • Building S.T.E.M. Fluency, beginning in the early elementary grades, with sustaining interest and increasing competency in the S.T.E.M. disciplines
  • Challenged with enriching programs and academically rigorous coursework providing for differentiated instruction for meeting the individual needs of all students
  • Experiencing hands-on, Inquiry and Project-Based Learning
  • Developing teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
  • Studying both the Physical/Applied Sciences as well as the Life Sciences
  • Experimentally Researching with implementing the Scientific Method
  • Engineering as Solution Strategists with implementing the Engineering Design Process
  • Collaborating with professional scientists, engineers, and college professors within the context of our numerous and global, corporate and collegiate partnerships
  • Learning in a real world, authentic learning context
  • Practicing Design Thinking & Prototyping with implementing Iterative Development and Testing
  • Investigating ecosystems, such as hydroponics and aquaponics (and their differences), through hands-on, learning labs
  • Programming floor robots starting in Kindergarten
  • Testing software and reporting out results directly to software development teams
  • Integrating and applying math skills with calculating interior/exterior angles with programming floor robots to draw geometrical figures
  • Observing microscopic organisms as well as live specimens along with documenting behaviors, growth, development, and life cycles
  • Learning and using correct scientific terminology as well as engineering terminology and vocabulary for all structural and electronic components across multiple engineering/robotics systems
  • Designing and constructing complex interactive structures and smart robots:
    • programmed with sensors and actuators – starting in Grade 2
    • incorporating differential gear systems, pulley systems, IR receivers, remote controls, etc.
  • Collecting, documenting/data-logging, evaluating, interpreting and reporting out research results
  • Skyping with scientists, engineers, and other real world, S.T.E.M. professionals
  • Investigating geophysical technologies such as limnology (stream studies, etc.)
  • Researching and note-taking specific scientific studies for end-of-unit projects and/or reporting out findings
  • Applying their learning in meaningful contexts, making relevant connections across the content areas, and so much more…
Best of all, our S.T.E.M. students are not just learning Science & Engineering – they are learning TO BE Scientists & Engineers as well as critical thinkers and problem-solvers!


In the News picfull

As invited presenters for many S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M., Science, Math, and Engineering Education Conferences, both locally as well as nationally – we thoroughly enjoy sharing our instructional experiences and student performance results, specifically in Robotics and Engineering Education, as enthusiastic S.T.E.M. teachers at Allendale Columbia School. Our highly attended presentations continue to focus primarily on the transformative impact of robotics, along with, developing a K–5 continuum of real world, Engineering Education as an interdisciplinary approach to building strategic innovation, design thinking & prototyping, and effective teaming/collaboration leading to meaningful content area connections. Our young learners continue to be highly engaged as they solve for the challenging problems they are posed throughout their units of study in Navigation and Innovation Engineering.

Our bottom-up approach to providing real world, Engineering Education also develops the needed 21st century soft skills our workforce is urgently calling for and is easily cultivated in the early elementary years with tapping into the natural curiosity and risk-taking mindset of young learners. The S.T.E.M. Team advocates the urgency of developing S.T.E.M. Fluency in the early elementary grades for sustaining interest, and building competency, across the S.T.E.M. disciplines as students progress on to their middle and high school years.

Throughout our local and national-level conference presentations, we continue to enjoy sharing highlights of our proven classroom management and instructional pedagogy with providing a systematic and comprehensive approach to developing S.T.E.M. Fluency, Design Thinking, and Strategic Innovation. We also provide demonstrations of the grade-by-grade, continuum of the Engineering Education Instructional Modules our S.T.E.M. Team has uniquely developed with re-purposing robotics systems and electronic components, for designing and constructing interactive structures and smart robots programmed with sensors and actuators. We most enjoy sharing the remarkable results of our Lower School S.T.E.M. students who are in their fourth year with successfully being introduced to high-level robotics and engineering systems typically taught at the Middle and even High School levels. Our students at Allendale Columbia keep us, their S.T.E.M. teachers, challenged to continually develop new and innovative learning experiences in real world, Robotics and Engineering Education!

Our AC S.T.E.M. students truly make us proud!


Invited Conference Speaking Engagements:

2/19 – 2/20/ Virginia Children’s Engineering Convention (VCEC), Williamsburg, VA

3/4 – 3/5 NYS Technology & Engineering Educators Association (NYSTEEA), Binghamton, NY

3/27 Science Teachers Association of NY (STANYS) Spring into STEM Conference,Brookhaven Labs, LI

5/28 NYS Education Department & Western NY STEM Hub: Exploring STEM Pathways and Perspectives, SUNY Buffalo State

6/15 – 6/16 Educators CONNECT for SUCCESS Annual Conference: Design Thinking, Ohio State University, Columbus

7/13 – 7/14 NYS STEM ED Collaborative Summer Institute, SUNY Alfred

8/3 – Education Collaborative of WNY: Independent Schools for Change, Growth, Success at Nardin Academy, Buffalo, NY

10/29 – 10/30 Oswego 2015 Annual Fall Technology Conference at SUNY Oswego

11/9 – 11/10 NYS Coalition for Administrators of Independent & Religious Schools (CAIRS): 2015 Annual Conference, Albany, NY

11/22 – 11/24 New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education (NYSCATE) 2015 Annual Conference, Rochester (NY) Riverside Convention Center

3/23/16 – SUNY Geneseo Innovative School Reform Program Series: “STEM Labs” 2:30 – 3:30 PM Welles Hall 123


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