Rochester’s Trinity Montessori School is celebrating a $44,000 gift that revolutionizes the school’s current science, technology, engineering and math program.
Named in the donors’ honor, the new Loren & Jamie Flaum STEM Lab triples the size of the former STEM lab, provides new laptop computers, along with up-to-date hardware so students can run the most advanced robotics and optics software. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach seen as the key to innovation and future job creation.
“We wanted to give a gift that touched every single student,” said Jamie Flaum. “In true Montessori fashion, the students will be able to use their own vision to support the scientific and creative process. We need to prepare our children through STEM education for the jobs of tomorrow.”
A STEM program has been part of the curriculum at Trinity since 1997 with support from computer instructor Colleen Anderson. With this gift from the Flaum family, Anderson completed extensive training on the new STEM platform, one that will blend well with the foundations of Montessori education.
Lorraine E. Scarafile is Trinity’s head of school.
“I know STEM and Montessori work well together,” said Scarafile. “While maintaining our commitment to the original Montessori Method, we are recognizing that if we are to prepare our children to meet their full potential, we must incorporate key components of our changing world into their vision. As we stay faithful to the principles of freedom within limits, respect of self and others, and progressive lessons tailored to children’s readiness and ability, we can introduce the modern concepts of STEM which are enrichments of our existing Montessori content.”
Mr. and Mrs. Flaum thanked Loren’s parents, Ilene and David Flaum, for facilitating this gift; and Jamie’s parents, Stacey and Rob Bland, for providing the STEM Lab’s new digital display. This equipment will connect with Trinity’s main projector system, allowing all STEM activities to be shared in real time throughout the entire school.
Loren and Jamie Flaum are the parents of two children, ages 4 and 6, who have attended Trinity since they were toddlers. Mr. Flaum’s family is also the benefactor of the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center where research is being done on optics and medicine, two of the disciplines that are part of a STEM education.
“The subjects of science, technology, and math are extremely important to our careers,” said Loren. “I use math and technology skills every day. In our modern global economy, you must embrace and excel in STEM in order to be competitive and successful. “
“STEM is important because it pervades every aspect of our lives,” said Jamie. “As with all early-childhood education, exposure and initiating interest and curiosity is key and this STEM lab will ensure all Trinity Montessori students have cutting-edge curriculum and technology at their fingertips.”
The commitment from the Flaum family is a way to start Trinity’s next 50 years of excellence in Montessori education.
“Our sincere appreciation to Jamie and Loren for their commitment to Montessori Education enriched by STEM applications,” said Scarafile. “Their commitment to the youth of today will help create the scientists and engineers of the future. We are so proud to have them as part of our school and parent community.”