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Uwharrie Charter Academy makes science, technology, engineering/empathy/entrepreneurship, art and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum a focus for interdisciplinary teaching. Embedded firmly through our curriculum is an intentional emphasis on STEAM-related topics and skills based upon research that indicates a need for students to experience science, technology, engineering/empathy/entrepreneurship, art, and math in ways that mimic their uses in society and industry. Students are afforded opportunities within lab settings, project development discussions, and competitions to utilize their skills and advance their understanding in STEAM. The role of STEAM heightens engagement as students are faced with problems to solve using the content from their classrooms coupled with the rigors of finding a creative solution through science, technology, engineering, or math that are applicable.

6-8th Grade STEAM Classes

Homesteading/Harvesting- Danielle Dills

Students learn to sew using πneedle and thread, they also learn the parts and practice using a sewing machine and create small items for potential sale. Students learn to crochet and make items for sale. Students also learn to mason jar can. This year we are also going to work with the 4H steam in harvesting produce/ products.

Journalism- Suzanne Bryant

Students learn the basics of print and broadcast journalism.  Within this course, students plan, research, write, and edit UCA news stories to create a weekly newspaper and broadcast that are sent out to teachers and parents.

Yearbook- Michaela Smith

Students work as a team to create the yearbook.  Yearbook students plan the pages, create layouts, take photographs, write and edit text, and help with yearbook marketing and sales.

Wind Chasers- Ben Grindstaff

Students will learn about flight and aeronautics.  We will be studying aviation history and building our own RC aircraft.  We will be having guest speakers and will be touring local airports.

Make Her Space/Make Him Space

In this STEAM  students will research areas of interest and have the ability to create content and products through various resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and visual devices, and traditional arts and crafts materials, including ecologic material. Some of the activities in this STEAM will be creating and racing Non-CO2 dragsters, making prosthetic hands, creating and flying drones, creating and selling T-shirts, and banners.

Music Studio/WUCA- Kaylie Morgan

In this Steam, students will create and record original content for the biweekly radio show, WUCA. Students will also learn to use online music resources to create and perform original songs.

Lego Robotics

In this STEAM, students will be introduced to the basics of building and programming robots.  We will look at building using blueprints as well as students creating their own designs to meet the needs of a specific challenge.

CSI UCA- Sherry Ficquette

CSI UCA is a STEAM in which students will explore how to analyze evidence found at crime scenes.  Areas of exploration may include processing a crime scene, collecting and preserving evidence, identifying and analyzing types of physical evidence, hair, fibers, and paint, toxicology, arson and explosion investigations, DNA, fingerprints, and document analysis. This course combines basic theory and real laboratory experiments.


Barbelles is a female fitness STEAM course that explores body weight exercises and cardiovascular training designed to build muscular strength and endurance.  In addition to the physical aspect of this course, students will also be given the task of developing, teaching, and performing two thirty-minute workouts throughout the semester.  Aspects of leadership, teamwork, and dedication are just a few qualities that will be exemplified in Barbelles.

Jewelry Maker- Amy Austin

Students will learn jewelry making techniques as they design and market their jewelry.  They will also learn to use recyclables to make beautiful jewelry pieces. Team members will work cooperatively to design not only the jewelry, but the packaging as well.

Crossfit- Lee Kennell

Crossfit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. These movements will be implemented through aspects of weightlifting, running, and gymnastics. Students will set personal fitness goals, measure results, observe classmates and reflect on their experience. Each workout will require students to use cooperative skills, think critically, communicate, encourage, practice safe movements and be determined in a competitive yet communal culture.

DIY/ Embellishment

DIY and Embellishments allows students to unleash their creativity. Students will learn how to hoop and create custom embroidery including logo designs and monograms on fabric and clothing. The students will also learn the ins and outs of machine embroidery, such as trouble-shooting and  threading. They will immerse themselves in DIY projects to include upcycling furniture, vinyl decals and signs, home goods, making art via acrylic pour technique and barn quilt signs. Fall semester will focus on creating items for the UCA Harvest Sale. Students will be able to suggest additional projects that they would like to complete during the year.

Aquaponics- Eli Routh

Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture.  Hydroponics is a method of agriculture that uses water for the production of food.  Aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic animals (ex. fish) for food. Students will grow fish and vegetables together while learning about their biology, the nitrogen cycle, and various aquaponic systems.

Re-Maker Space

Students will be creating renewable energy based vehicles such as cars and aircraft within the maker space. Students will also be handling the entrepreneurship aspect of makerspace such as sales, cost of materials, how to make a profit, as well as help with new designs and sponsorship. This allows students to not only see the financial aspect of makerspace but to also use their hands to create their own vehicles that would be more efficient for the environment.

Trash 2 Treasure- Lee Haywood

Students in T2T learn about the make up, break down, recycling and repurposing characteristics of different materials that are often discarded. Students use these materials to create 2 & 3 dimensional artwork. Students will be inspired by the work of environmental artists; Bryant Holsenbeck and Andy Goldsworthy along with Carolina Folk artists from across our state.

Apprenticeship- Thomsen/O'Brien

Students hand picked based on their ability, maturity, and trustworthiness will work closely alongside  Mr. O'Brien/ Mr. Thomsen. They will be tasked with facilitating and consulting with other STEAM classes to care for and use shop equipment, as well as work collaboratively with wood and metal to complete higher level, more difficult projects.

Theatre Arts- Blair Johnson

This STEAM is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience

5th Grade Steam Classes

Sign Language- Melody McNeill

Students will learn basic skills sets to be able to communicate with others through the use of Sign Language. Students will use vocabulary, numbers, and word phrases that will give them the ability to sign for others speaking or singing. Students will also experience what feels like to be deaf, and hear sounds through vibrations. They will create a percussion instrument to demonstrate the use of vibrations to produce sound.
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