About Us » At-A-Glance


MSSA At-A-Glance

The Department of Education at Christian Brothers University embarked on an agreement with Shelby County Schools to form a lab school in the former Fairview Middle School. With the push for more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) across the nation as well as the implementation of the Common Core Standards, it was a natural fit for CBU’s Department of Education to form a connection in this area that focused on college and career readiness, STEAM program design, STEAM program development and continuous improvement, instructional resource attainment and design, and STEAM professional development for faculty and staff.

Shared Vision

The purpose of the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy is to use effective and innovative instructional strategies which support Common Core State Standards and are focused on educating, enriching and empowering the whole child to learn through laboratory activities, case studies, and positive student/teacher interaction. TEIs at the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy will engage in science, technology, and mathematics instruction which is construed through engineering disciplines and embedded in the creative arts. Additionally, at the heart of the mission of the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy is a focus on “greenSTEAM” topics where students use their creativity to engage in environment-based problem based learning in order to become environmentally literate. The STEAM coursework supports these goals as TEIs will benefit from technology mediated instruction and be required to take rigorous classes in coding/ programming, robotics, engineering, design and/or graphic arts. TEIs may also be required to complete summer reading expectations, and be given the opportunity to participate in STEM summer enrichment activities. Eligible Maxine Smith STEAM Academy TEIs will be able to receive high school credit in Math and Science.

Common Mission

The Maxine Smith STEAM Academy will develop students’ creativity, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills, which are all necessary for success in today’s world. With an emphasis on post-secondary readiness, the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum will prepare TEIs for college, career and beyond while producing environmentally literate students.

Our Approach

• Special Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Instruction

• Whole Child Development

• Authentic, Rigorous, and Engaging Lessons

• Inquiry Based, Hands on Learning

• 21st Century Skills Development

• Collaborative Environment

School Colors

Red represents bravery

Gray represents flexibility

White represents open mindedness

School Mascot