Technology at SJA
Technology is an integral part of the world today. SJA believes that in order for students to excel in their educational endeavors and in the marketplace beyond, they must have a firm grasp on technology.
SJA’s technology program helps prepare students for the future. Meeting the needs and challenges of 21st century young women is a primary goal of the program.
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 nine 3D printers.
St. Joseph's Academy was named a STEM School of Excellence by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). SJA was honored in both the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years. ITEEA recognizes superior K-12 and post-secondary STEM programs in schools around the world.
Since 2000, SJA has won 19 Region VII Louisiana Science and Engineering Fairs and 13 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.)
AN HISTORICAL LOOK
In 1994, the academic program was redesigned to ensure that what was being taught helped young women understand information rather than simply recall it. In 1997, St. Joseph’s Academy became a leader in technology integration, introducing a 1:1 laptop program across the learning community.
Since then, SJA has continued to develop programs that impact teaching and learning. The use of technology provides opportunities to enhance the instructional process and raise the level of student learning and performance, producing active, engaged learners who undertake complex and meaningful tasks.
Faculty members use the learning management software Moodle to enhance each course and allow for online testing and course cohesion. Teachers are given the tools needed to ensure that their classrooms promote active student engagement. Using tools such as E-beams and Microsoft Office 365 to share documents allows for multi-layered student collaboration. Dyknow software allows students to use the playback feature to revisit lessons in order to re-engage with the material outside of the classroom.
The crown jewel of the Academy’s technology program is the student-run Help Desk, which celebrates 24 years of successful operation this year. All tablet maintenance is done onsite by paid student technicians who have undergone a rigorous internship through their computer architecture class. SJA is among the first high schools in the country, and possibly the first all-girls’ school, to implement a 1:1 program fully supported by a student-run repair center.
One of the defining characteristics of the SJA Technology Program is its commitment to service. Students, graduates and tech team members have embarked upon technology-based mission trips to Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad, South Africa and Puerto Rico, establishing computer labs and teaching skills to use and maintain these technology tools.
SJA students, members of the Technology Team and several graduates have worked with two underserved local elementary schools in establishing computer labs and providing school-wide internet access. Outreach efforts have also touched schools and continuing education programs in New Orleans.
SJA students put their skills to the test in technology competitions and activities throughout the year. Among the events in which Academy girls excel are the Louisiana High School Technology Challenge, National Governors Association Cyber Challenge, Cyber Discovery Camp, the Analysis & Investigation through Cyber-based Scenarios Camp and the Shell STEM Showdown.
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.
SJA receives requests throughout the year to host technology coordinators and educators from across the state. These visitors want to learn about SJA’s successful Help Desk as well as how technology has been integrated across the curriculum.
SJA representatives share success stories at an array of conferences, workshops, roundtable discussions and awards ceremonies throughout the year. When traveling, representatives routinely visit schools in their destination cities to spread the good news about the Academy and its technology-savvy students.
For questions regarding the Technology program at SJA, please contact:
1:1 Asus Tablets
St. Joseph’s Academy provides state-of-the-art Asus EliteBook B3402 tablet computers to all students and faculty. It is a convertible tablet PC with a 13.3-inch HD display and precision pen-and-touch input. The double hinge allows the computer to become a tablet for ease of writing and filming. The B3402 computer is lightweight but durable, with a quick-charge battery obtaining an 80 percent charge in one hour.