STEAM


When students—girls in particular—are given unbridled access to hands-on opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) they gain experiences and confidence to pursue passions and careers in fields traditionally dominated by men.


Also commonly known and referred to as STEM, the "A" and "Art" represent strategic design and the importance of understanding aesthetics while engaging in practical applications of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

We integrate coding, making, design thinking, and engineering design across grade levels and subject areas. As students move through the grades, they encounter more open-ended and student-driven projects and have the opportunity to take part in electives and a range of co-curricular opportunities.

Academic Departments

At Castilleja, our Computer Science, Mathematics, and Science departments guide students to develop core competencies which build a strong foundation for both co-curricular expressions of STEAM as well as deeper insights and breakthroughs in other subject areas and pursuits.

Science

Castilleja students learn to become become scientifically literate citizens and future scientists. Through innovative, inquiry-based pedagogy, open-ended labs and structured demonstrations, they gain a solid understanding of fundamental scientific principles and learn to think like scientists. The breadth and depth of our curriculum engages students both individually and in groups as they construct their own learning and develop the analytical thinking, problem solving, and deductive reasoning skills necessary to scientific inquiry.

Starting in the 6th grade, students have the opportunity to explore scientific exploration and practice skills and techniques in the real world. Here, students explore the nearby Bayfront Park for their Orienteering Skills unit.

6th grade students apply knowledge learned in the classroom as they explore the nearby Bayfront Park using skills learned in a Orienteering Skills unit.

Upper School students in Ms. Middleman's Biology Honors class extend their understanding of enzymes by designing and running a laboratory experiment to test a variable of their choice.

Upper School students in Dr. Middleman's Biology Honors class extend their understanding of enzymes by designing and running a laboratory experiment to test a variable of their choice.

Meet the Faculty

Jeanne Appelget

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Department Head

Sarah Barnum

Titles: Faculty Member, Science

Bethany Blackwell

Titles: Faculty Member, Science

Christina Courtney

Titles: Faculty Member, Science

Tiffany Crist-Studley

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Dean of Middle School Student Life

Jane McConnell

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering

Elaine Middleman

Titles: Faculty Member, Science

Colin Quinton

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Head Coach, JVA Softball, Assistant Coach, Varsity Softball

Jon Rockman

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Senior Class Dean, I2 Camp Coordinator

Bryan Valek

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering

Computer Science and Engineering

By emphasizing creative and real-world applications, interdisciplinary connections, and iterative processes that enable computer science and engineering to effect change in the world, our students grasp and shape society’s rapidly evolving technological landscape. Through courses, interdisciplinary projects, and varied experiences in and out of the classroom, students develop conceptual understanding and modern technical skills. They cultivate a tolerance for ambiguity and complexity; patience, persistence, and creativity when facing difficult challenges; and the confidence, resourcefulness, and curiosity needed to undertake and solve open-ended problems.

Computer Science at Castilleja is innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary. Every student is exposed to coding and computer science through integrated projects and individualized opportunities through electives and co-curriculars.

Co-curricular opportunities such as Robotics and Gatorbotics, Casti Coders, and STEMx grant students drawn to the subject the freedom, flexibility, and capacity to dive deeper into CS.

With an emphasis on autonomy, difference-making, and global citizenship, Castilleja’s Computer Science program is about more than 21st-Century skills or creating gender parity in STEM fields—it’s about empowering the young women who will lead the way to a more equitable, inclusive world.

6th grade students dive into coding by creating interactive devices that solve a common problem while learning about sensors and actuators using the Arduino platform and Scratch programming language.

6th grade students dive into coding by creating interactive devices that solve a common problem while learning about sensors and actuators using the Arduino platform and Scratch programming language.

Computer Science & Engineering Department Chair and teacher Ann Greyson teaches a small-group Upper School coding class.

Computer Science & Engineering Department Chair Ann Greyson teaches a small-group Upper School coding class.

Meet the Faculty

Ann Greyson

Titles: Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering, Department Head, Middle School Computer Science & Engineering

Jane McConnell

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering

Elaine Park

Titles: Bourn Idea Lab Director

Bryan Valek

Titles: Faculty Member, Science, Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering

Art

Anita Seipp Gallery

The Anita Seipp Gallery is a light-filled 1,200 sq. ft. dedicated space that sponsors both professional and student exhibitions.

The Gallery also functions as a place for critique and evaluation of student work, as well as a space for large scale student painting and collaborative projects in design.

Artist in Residence

Castilleja's Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) is a unique art and education program funded by the School's Innovation Investment Fund.  AIR provides professional artists with a stipend and studio space at Castilleja School for an eight week period. By supporting diverse artists who work with a range of materials, Castilleja encourages our students and community to engage in new ways of thinking about art and the environment in which we live.

Artists speak to our middle and high school art classes, as well as adult groups, about the experience of working in their chosen medium(s) and about their work in the context of the larger community. Additionally, they provide workshop sessions to our students. At the conclusion of the residency, a two-week long exhibition will be held in the school gallery for the artist featuring artwork made during the residency that may also include Castilleja student work reflecting the collaboration. 

Under the ACE Center umbrella, coordinators and team leaders of the Gallery Leadership organization will help curate, advertise, and promote the show. At the conclusion of the residency, the artist will contribute one piece of his/her artwork to the program's permanent collection. This work will be used for teaching and display at the school.

Meet the Faculty

Ahmed Elgasseir

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Department Head

Tannis Hanson

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Sara Kerr

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Helen Shanks

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Junior Class Dean

Georgi Shea

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Josh Thurston-Milgrom

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Deborah Trilling

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Director, Anita Seipp Gallery

Kristin Walter

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, 7th Grade Dean

Mathematics

Our students are equipped with both the knowledge and the habits of mind to harness the power of mathematics. Informed by the work of Jo Boaler and applied action research, our curriculum emphasizes the understanding of profound mathematical ideas and the development of key analytical skills in a supportive environment that encourages inquiry, engagement, and joy in mathematics.

Differentiation beginning in the Middle School empowers students to take risks, develop resilience, deepen understanding and facilitate a growth mindset that builds confidence in mathematical skills. Students progress in their math practice through genuine engagement with new material and perseverance through confusion and difficulty. In order to support the inquiry process, teachers provide guidance through problems, discussions, activities, readings, projects, and collaborative work.

Math students tackle a hands-on problem as they analyze the geometry of the Circle central to Castilleja's campus.

Math students tackle a hands-on problem as they analyze the geometry of the Circle central to Castilleja's campus.

Math students work in pairs to figure out the best approach to algebraic problems

Math students work in pairs to figure out the best approach to various algebraic problems.

Meet the Faculty

Kimberly Bagnola

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics, Dean of Upper School Student Life

Kyle Barriger

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics

Julian Cortella

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics, Faculty Member, Computer Science & Engineering, Head Coach, JV Volleyball, Head Coach, VA Silver Volleyball

Josh Genauer

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics

Xenia Hammer

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics

Nicholas Jerrold

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics, Assistant Coach, JVA Softball

Maya Kapoor

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics

David Lowell

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics, Co-Department Head

Katie Robinson

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics

Carolyn Steele

Titles: Faculty Member, Mathematics, Co-Department Head