21st Century Learning
SJA gives each student access to innovative learning environments and opportunities, building essential skills for the 21st century.
Because women have traditionally been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, SJA established the Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab to provide cross-curricular, hands-on learning in a laboratory setting. Students work with a laser cutter and micro-computers and are able to bring their ideas to fruition using one of 21 3D printers, an unprecedented number on the high school level.
Since 2000, SJA has won 17 Region VII Louisiana Science and Engineering Fairs and 11 Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fairs. As the result of their outstanding projects, science students are invited to present their original research at national and international competitions.
Every year since 1998, SJA students have qualified for the prestigious Intel International Science & Engineering Fair. (The 2020 event was cancelled by COVID, and the 2021 event was held virtually.)
SJA girls enjoy demonstrating their understanding of complex technology challenges through numerous competitions.
SJA’s Robotics Team competes each year in the FIRST Robotics Competition Bayou Regional. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, enabling students to compete head to head in designing, building and programming robots.
SJA students participate in the Global Game Jam®, the world’s largest game creation event, held over a 48-hour stretch at LSU. Our girls enjoy matching wits against thousands of students from countries around the world to create games while, at the same time, exploring the process of development, including programming, iterative design, narrative exploration and artistic expression.
SJA participates in the worldwide Hour of Code initiative. According to event organizers, this international learning event reaches tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. It is designed to demystify code and broaden participation in the field of computer science. The event enables many students to try coding for the first time, while more experienced students experiment with more advanced options.
Each year, St. Joseph’s Academy participates in the Louisiana High School Online Technology Challenge. The annual technology event, hosted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recognizes students interested in demonstrating their creative use of technology and teamwork. Every high school in Louisiana is invited to enter a team of 15 students who work under the guidance of a designated coach.
Students also enjoy the opportunity to compete in the Cyber Discovery Camp, held each summer at Louisiana Tech University. The week-long camp helps students understand how technology and the world of of cyperspace are present in their daily lives and how to best interact with them.
Also at Louisiana Tech University, the Analysis & Investigation through Cyber-based Scenarios Camp challenges participants to hone their analysis and investigative skills through a variety of activities.
St. Joseph’s Academy enjoys great success in the Shell STEM Showdown, part of the Great Minds in STEM program. High school freshmen and sophomores come together each year with college captains who are majoring in a STEM field.
For questions regarding Academics at SJA, please contact our Dean of Academics:
Dean of Academics
21st Century Classrooms
SJA classrooms are designed with the tenets of 21st century learning in mind, as student-centered spaces allow for collaboration and project-based learning as well as independent work. Within these comfortable spaces, students can easily rearrange furniture, access ample writing space and use task-appropriate technology. Classroom designs are more conducive to movement, games, group activities and communication, including space for small-group projects. Unique seating options, such as bean bags, stationary bikes and other versatile choices, coupled with traditional desks allow students opportunities to learn in a setting that is most comfortable for them.