Student Life


A Model School for S.T.R.E.A.M

Xavier has become a model school for science, technology, religion, engineering, art and math (S.T.R.E.A.M) education for young women of faith pursuing excellence. As a result, several programs were created to build meaningful STREAM experiences for Xavier students that not only supported their pursuit of academic excellence, but also in helping others and the community.

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  • Girls Have IT Day! (GHITD)

    Friday March 15, 2018 

    Website: Girls Have IT Day!

    Photos: (Flickr)

    Girls Have IT Day! is an event held annually to promote greater interest, engagement, and empowerment for girls of the opportunities in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Held in March, Girls Have IT Day! brings together female STEAM industry professionals, over 40 STEAM college and medical students, 300 high school girls, and 800 middle school girls to engage in dialogue, hands-on learning activities, collaborative exploration, and exposure to STEAM related activities. Designed to EXCITE, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER girls to pursue careers in STEAM fields, the model of “cascading mentorship” from the industry professionals and college students to the high school girls who in turn mentor the middle school girls yields benefits to each group. Research has shown that one of the reasons that young women are not as interested in STEAM related fields is because they don’t feel that they are helping people or making an impact on the world. Xavier has established a goal to assist in making sure that girls can not only experience the science and technology through hands-on activities, but related to that to a real-world application that impacts others or society.

    Thank you for the speakers who explained to us more about technology. I enjoyed going to different booths and learning about cool experiments and things like that. - STA student, Emily

    Specifics of the program:
    • Girls Have IT Day! has been developed based on national researched best practices including the National Center for Women Information Technology (NCWIT) and from a review of similar day programs around the country.
    • Over 300 high school girls and 800 middle school girls will be involved in mutual engagement activities with women in the field including: students studying STEAM coursework, young female STEAM professionals and STEAM industry experts.
    • It uses a cascading mentorship approach to build relationships among a community of future female STEAM professionals.
    • It is gender responsive and includes activities that are designed based on researched best practices on how to include young women in STEAM activities, including using small groups, providing a girls only environment, and focuses on collaborative learning.
    • It assists girls in identifying the connections between STEAM activities with real-world impacts and improvements on society and the world
    Listen to Voice America's interview with senior Kate Welty '14 on the subjects of Girls Have IT Day!, Girls Have IT Camp and encouraging girls in STEAM education. This was an episode on the weekly podcast Women Investing in Women & Girls!

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    EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service-Learning) is an innovative and highly successful model for design education where teams of students work on technology-centered projects to serve the needs of the local community. Started at Purdue University in 1995, EPICS programs are now operating at eighteen universities across the country including: Purdue; Columbia; San Jose State; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and the University of California, San Diego. The success of this educational model at the university level has encouraged us to expand the model to high school to provide an early exposure to the fields of engineering and computing through service learning.

    The educational goals of EPICS include broadening students’ professional skills through an extended design experience in which they define, design, build, test, deploy, and support real systems. Partnerships with local community not-for-profit organizations provide motivated and engaged partners who serve as customers. The expectation that their designs will be deployed and used provides a compelling learning environment for students. The resulting experience is well-matched with desired attributes for those who may be interested in pursuing a college education in engineering, computer science, business, liberal arts, and consumer and family sciences or several other disciplines. Preliminary data also suggests that the social context for technical design appeals to underrepresented groups within engineering and computer science.

    EPICS also seeks to meet the needs of local community service and education organizations, which are facing an increasing dependence on technology for the delivery, coordination, accounting, and improvement of the services they provide. These groups often possess neither the expertise to use, nor the budget to design and acquire technological solutions. The EPICS model of service-learning provides long-term and sustained support for these organizations.

    EPICS provides a way for Xavier students to engage in science, technology, engineering and math projects in community while bearing witness to the Themes of Catholic Social Teaching as identified by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    Watch this video from our partner in STEAM education It's About Time: The Female Perspective on the Future of Engineering Xavier College Preparatory High School.



Xavier College Preparatory

4710 North Fifth Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
P. (602) 277-3772
F. (602) 279-1346

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Western Catholic Educational Association