RJ Innovates

RJ Innovates connects rigorous, hands-on, problem-based, creative learning environments with Jesus Christ’s call to serve God, humanity and creation.

Our History | Our Faculty & Partners | Research

Our Vision

RJ Innovates challenges our students to confront authentic problems that prepare them to use content and skills to respond to 21st-century issues. Our students grow by collaborating effectively and communicating their responses as they develop a “faith that does justice.”

 

Our History—STEAM Evolves to RJ Innovates

The Society of Jesus encourages us to be world-affirming and embrace the challenges of reality as we look for the footsteps of Christ. It means that we double-down on our core values of competence, conscience, and compassion. It means that we continue to recognize that we are forming men and women for and with others, men and women who are Intellectually Competent, Religious, Committed to Justice, Open to Growth and Loving. We equip our young men and women with these values as they encounter this world, values that continue to be the gift the Holy Spirit gave to St. Ignatius for the world.

That world is rapidly changing, transformed in part by new technology. Every student has instant and constant connection through the computer-cell phone in his or her pocket. Ordinary processes like note-taking and testing are now web-based. Job applications require both technical and mental skills unheard of not long ago. Employers assume that the students who pass through our doors will have a broad range of problem-solving skills.

STEAM is a widely-used acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Some schools adopt it as a specialized track of courses with its own unique culture. However, at Regis Jesuit, STEAM has evolved into RJ Innovates, which implies more than that acronym because it aims to enrich the existing mission and vision of the school. RJ Innovates is a complementary agent to our liberal arts education catalyzed by the discipline of discernment. Its simple goal is to help Regis Jesuit High School connect its students with the world.

Fr. General Adolfo Nicolas stated that, “In the end, the test of whether our education is one of depth, is whether we are able to produce people who can ‘decide from the inside’—which is another way of saying…if we are able to produce people of discernment.”

Regis Jesuit is taking a measured approach that integrates the rigorous content-learning from our humanistic, liberal arts tradition with STEAM-oriented courses augmented with new equipment, facilities and partnerships with industry (for research, internships, project ideas).

We aspire to a more ambitious plan: revise our overall curricula to take principles central to STEAM – like authentic problem solving, collaboration, and interdisciplinary projects – and integrate these learning traits into all academic areas. We want to nurture habits of mind like the engineering design process. Our courses should express what each department’s key skills are, how they offer insight into our world, and how they form the elements of the Grad at Grad. Then our students should be able to use these skills systematically in other disciplines.

RJ Innovates’ imaginative root is an emphasis on skill development and practical application. Its primary lens is the authentic, collaborative application of content that prepares students for the new careers that await them. Its energy comes from the creative spark that drives all learners to take risks and place their gifts at service to the world.

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Our Faculty & Partners

RJ Innovation Leadership Team:

  • Jason Beyer, project coordinator, theology teacher
  • Jimmy Tricco, principal
  • Kimberly Haag, science teacher
  • Nicole Dubler, mathematics teacher
  • Sara Hildreth, English teacher
  • Tom Rochford, SJ '64, fine arts teacher
  • Craig Rogers, assistant principal for faculty & curriculum
  • Annie Etling, faculty & curriculum coordinator

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Research

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