Tomaino ’95 Presents at NJ STEM Education Conference
February 28, 2023
Christian Brothers Academy’s Mr. Michael Tomaino ’95 was selected to present at the New Jersey STEM Education Conference earlier this month.
Tomaino has taught computer science at the Academy since 2004 and has played a big part in expanding CBA’s computer science and technology offerings. His presentation aimed to offer solutions to challenges related to teaching STEM subjects. Tomaino spoke about the differences between STEM education and traditional Science, Math and Technology, explaining tactics to incorporate in classrooms to help teachers transition into a modern STEM environment.
In his presentation, Tomaino used tangible examples from his experience teaching at the Academy.
“CBA has given me the opportunity as a teacher to experiment with innovative classroom techniques that highlight the principles of STEM including collaborative learning through authentic problem solving activities,” he said. “Using modern hands-on platforms like Arduino and modern technology such as the Python programming language, our students get to build and create, while learning the fundamental principles of computer science with a STEM learning philosophy.”
Over the past few years, CBA has expanded its offerings that fit into the modern STEM learning environment. Courses include an Intro to Coding which features Python programming, a Digital Audio course which teaches audio production technologies and principles, and a honors course in Artificial Intelligence. The Academy also offers a Creative Engineering course, which tackles an in-depth, STEM-based curriculum.
“We have introduced a number of courses that highlight STEM education philosophies to varying degrees,” Tomaino said. “However, our course offering that highlights STEM principles most purely is Creative Engineering, where students work through the entire process of finding problems to solve, brainstorming realistic solutions, researching possible approaches, and building actual devices to alleviate pain points in human experiences.”
Additional courses offered include AP Computer Science, Robotics and Data Science and additions to the curriculum are under development.