AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In celebration of new engineering and digital creativity labs, as well as a new STEM education partnership, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School announced that it will host an open house on Friday.

The Friday open house will be hosted at the St. Andrew’s campus at 1515 S Georgia St, according to school officials, at around 11 a.m. Not only will the school have an open house for the new labs, but also join representatives from Amarillo College and Snapology to announce a partnership aimed at providing innovation in elementary and middle school STEM education.

Starting in the 2022 school year, said school officials, faculty from Amarillo College’s Construction, Math, and Engineering departments are expected to partner with Amanda Kuker, the St. Andrew’s engineering instructor. Those educators will conduct a three-year project for sixth-grade through eighth-grade students focused on designing tiny homes to address area housing needs.

“By integrating renewable resources and designs sympathetic to the natural environment, students will engineer tiny homes to offer cost-effective, sustainable, energy-efficient housing for those in need,” said school officials. The students will be trained in shelter requirements, construction techniques and materials, industry-standard design software, and marketing in order to complete the project.

As noted by officials, the Amarillo College faculty members participating in the project include:

  • Edie Carter, Dean of STEM
  • Vanessa Miles, faculty coordinator for Math and engineering instructor
  • Ernie Sheets, faculty member in construction technology

School officials also said that the new F1 in Schools program will offer students the opportunity to participate in design, construction, and competitive racing of miniature F1 cars built using CAD programming, CNC machines, and other on-site tools. Over 17,000 students worldwide take part in the program’s competition each year to design, build, market, and race the world’s fastest miniature Formula 1 car.

Even further, school officials detailed that the new middle school engineering program will expand on current partnerships with Amarillo College faculty focused on providing hands-on experiences in chemistry, physics, and horticulture. Students have had the guidance of Dr. Asanga Ranashinghe, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Amarillo College, in regularly visiting STEM labs at the college to participate in experiments aimed to inspire a love of science and build student understanding of basic STEM concepts.

Alongside the collaborations with Amarillo College, school officials also are expected to announce a partnership with the local STEM education firm Snapology, aimed at providing STEM education for St. Andrew’s primary and intermediate grade students.

As previously reported by MyHighPlains.com, Snapology will open its new Amarillo center on Aug. 20, and focuses on providing educational STEAM opportunities teaching science, technology, engineering, art, math and literacy concept using LEGO®building toys and activities. Students with St. Andrew’s, said officials, will work with Snapology to build complex structures and program machines and robots.