Saint Ambrose becomes first STEM school in Medina County!

Saint Ambrose Catholic School has been awarded our STEM Designation banner this week from Lisa Woods, State Board of Education, District 5 recognizing them with official STEM School designation equivalent status from the Ohio STEM Committee and the Ohio Department of Education.  This recognition is for our existing and emerging initiatives happening throughout the school and in the community!


What Is STEM?

“STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but it is more than an acronym. While originally designed to encourage students to pursue careers in these areas, STEM education has evolved into a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students.” –


What Does This Designation as a STEM School Mean for Saint Ambrose School?

To receive this STEM Designation Equivalent Status, Saint Ambrose needed to go through a formal application process (100 page scientific application inclusive of  examples of our projects) with the Ohio Stem Learning Network.  This included seeking and building partnerships within the business community; and developing an identity statement to focus on how we will work with the community to solve real world problems using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  We had to show how we are using problem based learning and cross curricular programming to solve problems to enhance our community.

While many schools are jumping on the STEM train, and offering some type of programming, whether it be after school clubs or classes this designation is a specific application process and truly a validation of all that we have been working on as a school these past several years.  STEM Designation validates us as a school infused around STEM, not just having a portion of programming dedicated to it.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network and Governing Body

The Ohio STEM Committee, OSLN,  is a Committee of state government and STEM experts across the state that reviews schools’ applications to receive STEM School Designation Equivalent Status.  This year over 25 schools across the state of Ohio applied seeking this coveted status. The K-8 grade designation status is new this year, but Saint Ambrose Catholic School has been using a comprehensive STEM based education model for several years now.


Thank You to Our STEM Partners!

Saint Ambrose School would like to thank their STEM partners for their dedication and collaboration and celebrates this step forward for their school and students with them:  STEM Accelerated Coding, the Ohio STEM Impact Network, Bob Gillingham Ford, Cisco, Cleveland State University, TRI-C, NOAA, Hyland Software, Rockwell Automation, Brownstone Realty, and many others.  Principal Lisa Cinadr stated, “We are preparing students to meet the needs of our community and become problem solvers and agents of change.  We have the unique opportunity to equip them to handle and solve these world and community problems while keeping Christ at the center.”

One of Saint Ambrose School’s most significant partners is the Ohio STEM Impact Network, which is composed of community partners, educators, law enforcement, and city officials and is the school’s partner in STEM education on campus.   The OSIN has partnered with Saint Ambrose Catholic School to help students find solutions to real world community issues. Students are working on various impact projects through their Impact Youth Advisory Coalition.  The site is available for schools to collaborate with The Ohio STEM Impact Network and Saint Ambrose Catholic School!  For more information on what we are doing in STEM visit


Saint Ambrose School is Leading the Way in STEM Education

This is a celebration of the dynamic teaching that is hallmark of Saint Ambrose School.  In preparing our students for a bright future, we want them to have solid, enduring values and a vision of how they can use their talents, gifts and intellect to embrace a bright and hopeful future.  This STEM designation is one more validation that we are striving to be everything for every student, every day.”  Father Bob Stec

 Saint Ambrose School students today are earning high school credit for math classes through remote distance learning technology.  New for this year, Saint Ambrose Catholic School will be expanding their higher education opportunities for students by offering College Credit Plus (CCP) courses for junior high students through their established partnership with Stark State, allowing students to earn College Credit before even reaching high school.


St. Ambrose School has been designated as the first STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) school in Medina County.
St. Ambrose School has been designated as the first STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) school in Medina County. (Brian Lisik/special to

BRUNSWICK — Being one of only 44-in-4,000 of most anything is usually cause for celebration. And students at St. Ambrose School did just that Sept. 11 when Ohio State Board of Education, District 5, member, Lisa Woods visited the school to present a banner recognizing St. Ambrose’s designation as a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) school.

“It really helps get kids ready for the future – particularly the business partnerships,” she said of STEM programming across the state. “For example, here at St. Ambrose, they are partnering with NASA. We do hope kids are getting more of the ‘soft skills’ they are not getting at a lot of schools.”

History of STEM in the state

Ohio has been developing STEM school concepts for the past decade, Woods said.

The current designation program distinguishes schools that emphasize the importance of the four disciplines into their curriculum. To earn the designation, St. Ambrose had to form working partnerships with both public and private higher education and business organizations, as well as offer a “rigorous, diverse, integrated, and project-based curriculum to students,” Woods said.

In short, STEM teaching and learning puts the emphasis more on the problem solving process than traditional memorization techniques.

Local flexibility

According to St. Ambrose Principal, Lisa Cinadr, STEM – or, more accurately in the case of St. Ambrose, STREAM, since the school also integrates religion and art curriculum – students are energized by the approach.

“There are many more opportunities for that ‘a-ha’ moment,” she said. “We all learn differently and this allows us to pull out of students what they didn’t know they had.”

Cinadr said the year-long process of applying for state STEM designation, including the 120 page application, charged the school with proving its use of 21st Century teaching methods and use of state, local, and diocesan STEM teaching and learning standards across curriculum.

“For example if the ‘problem’ is the Roman Empire, students will learn about the societal components in Social Studies, and then in Math, look at the mechanical innovations as students work together to create a product. They start with the end in mind and kind of work backward.”

Brave new world

The goal of educators, she said, is to anticipate what problem solving skills these students, as adults, will need to compete in an ever more rapidly developing future.

“We are teaching to standards, but we have flexibility,” Cinadr said.

The honor of St. Ambrose’s STEM school designation was twofold, given the fact that not only is it one of the only schools in the state to have earned the designation, it is the first in Medina County.

In her comments to the audience upon Woods’ presentation of the school’s STEM banner, Cinadr made a fairly safe prediction about the not so distant future.

“We are the only school in Medina County that is STEM designated, but watch for more everybody,” she said. “It’s coming.” ‘