Skip Navigation

Middle Schoolers LEGO FIRST DemoMost Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, is uniformly strengthening STREAM education in 15 Diocesan Catholics Schools through investment in a partnership with FIRST®, a global robotics community, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”, placing students ahead of the curve in primary fields while continuing to promote core Catholic virtues. 

Bishop Dewane understands students of today and tomorrow need to be rigorously challenged through STREAM - Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math. As an educational leader, Bishop Dewane is investing in student success by gifting 500 robots and curricular resources, as well as pledging to provide all Diocesan Schools with age-appropriate kits and robots to compete at the highest levels of competition through FIRST®, while integrating Catholic values and virtues through our diocesan curriculum called, The Gifts of Christ: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Affability, Fortitude, Humility, and Prudence. 

These kits use LEGO products, such as Duplo blocks for the youngest students, and more traditional blocks for older students. Each progressive kit increases with difficulty and broadens the concepts learned in earlier years. By middle and high school levels, students will be building competition robots. 

Robotics event March 10 2021

“This is an example of looking to the future and positioning our Diocesan schools, and more importantly, our students, for success,” Bishop Dewane said. “This program has a strong science, math and engineering component, but it enhances everything we are already doing that distinguishes Diocesan Catholic schools from others in the region.” 

Students from PK-3 through Grade 12 will join others worldwide for age-appropriate learning, designing, and building robots of all sizes while offering young people a chance to proudly dream of working as true leaders in science and technology fields. Through teamwork and competition students gain self-confidence, and valuable, real-world skills that can open pathways for all types of career choices in Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math. 

While robots are a major part of the FIRST® program, it is just a tool that expands upon the idea of project-based learning and cognitive thought processes, helping to develop skills such as leadership, communication, complex problem-solving, teamwork and creativity. All of this with an added dimension of our Catholic faith. Bishop with Middle School LEGO FIRST Demo

“Every student attending Diocese of Venice Catholic Schools from this point forward will have this curriculum and these activities on a daily basis,” said Father John Belmonte, SJ, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Education. 

Jennifer Falestiny, Diocesan Curriculum Specialist, who helped to facilitate the partnership between the Diocese and FIRST®, said schools will begin integrating the program for the final quarter of the 2021 academic year. The balance of all schools and teachers will be introduced to the project in June for implementation in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

“The FIRST® program teaches students a new way of thinking that will be foundational when solving complex, real world problems. Students will develop their skills in cognitive reasoning, collaboration, and innovative design through different technologies, preparing them for the future,” Falestiny said. 


Suncoast News Network
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Raffle Winners