The Justin E. Rawlins STEAM Center

Notre Dame High School is proud to announce that the Fritz B. Burns Foundation has awarded the school a grant of $900,000 to fund the creation of a new STEAM Center. Maureen Rawlinson and Cheryl Robinson of the Foundation recently visited the NDHS campus to present a check to Principal Alice Cotti, Former Vice President of Finance Rick Ysasi, and Former Director of Advancement Richard Klee. The entire Notre Dame community is deeply and profoundly grateful to the Fritz B. Burns Foundation for this grant, and for their generous and ongoing support. 
    • Left to right: Alice Cotti, Richard Klee, Maureen Rawlinson, and Cheryl Robinson

The Vision

“How we educate the mind will change with the times; how we cultivate the heart is and will remain timeless"

When Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, wrote these prophetic words in the 19th century, he could not have envisioned how the process of education would “change with the times.” At Notre Dame High School, we live his vision by continuing to look for innovative ways to captivate our students through innovative technologies while simultaneously providing them with a quality experience and education. 
While Notre Dame offers a robust college-prep education to students, the school continually strives to be better. An area that has been identified as a current need is for a STEAM center. STEAM is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math education. STEAM education has become an essential component of a well-rounded education that prepares students for college and life. A STEAM-based education with appropriate space and equipment will enable NDHS students to be more engaged with hands-on learning experiences and to translate their creativity and ingenuity into real-world solutions that would benefit the community. 

One of the most important aspects of a Holy Cross Education is the emphasis on building a better society. A STEAM-centered education fosters the highly important skill of teamwork, and in doing so provides the students with the experience of working together in a disciplined environment to create positive change through the application of technology. This could include truly real-world experiences such as establishing an invention team, filing patents, writing apps, and applying for technology and engineering grants to support the process. The teamwork skills and STEAM knowledge will result in graduates who will be able to use technology to problem-solve in a collaborative environment to improve the lives of those in the community around them now and in the future.

The Plan

Construction is underway for The Gladys C. Burns Dining Commons and Student Center as well as The Justin E. Rawlins STEAM Center on the 1st floor of the former Cafeteria located in the St. Andre Bessette Building. The space has been re-envisioned to include a CNC machine, 3D printers, and a competition space for our award-winning Robotics team. Also included is a brand new kitchen with new appliances, upgraded teak tables and benches, movable walls, and much-needed storage space. At the completion of the renovation in 2023, the students will have a newly, built for their needs Dining Commons, Student, and STEAM center.
The plan is to relocate walls that separate the classrooms to incorporate more space into the Center. The project will encompass approximately 3,000 square feet. The classrooms and kitchen will be set off by movable walls and doors that can be opened to create one combined space. This design maximizes the available square footage and creates the flexibility of having separate spaces or one large space. The space will feature a full array of state-of-the-art equipment and computers. 

Be a Part of This Exciting Project

There are many ongoing expenses to operating and maintaining a STEAM center. This includes the costs for supplies, consumable materials, tools, equipment maintenance, equipment repair, replacement components, and staffing. Part of our plan is to build an endowment to provide for ongoing expenses. Naming opportunities at various levels will be available. The ultimate goal would be for the cost of maintaining and operating the STEAM center to be fully covered in perpetuity by an endowment.
*Make sure to indicate that your gift is for the NDHS STEAM Center/Makerspace Project