STEAM at Barstow


Barstow's nationally recognized STEAM program uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics as access points to 21st century skills. Students in kindergarten to grade 12 learn critical thinking and problem-solving, while working together to create projects using design thinking and the latest technological tools.


Beginning in our Early Childhood classrooms, students build their understanding of technology and how to apply it in a collaborative, creative environment. These are skills they will use for a lifetime.

In weekly STEAM classes for kindergarten through grade 5, students tackle increasingly difficult levels of computer coding, design thinking and engineering challenges so they are fully prepared for middle and upper school.


Middle school students take STEAM skills to the next level. They have been working in a digital world for years so they know how to actively seek and apply information. STEAM skills teach them to use that information to solve problems and create solutions.

In VEX Robotics, teams build and program robots to put them through a series of challenges and competitions. In Middle School Makers, they brainstorm, invent and create products using cutting edge tools. We offer STEAM-centered electives for every kind of creative mind — digital, musical, artistic and analytical — and apply STEAM principles across disciplines to build critical 21st centural skills.


In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, success is driven not only by what a student knows, but by what a student can do with that knowledge. Upper school students gather and evaluate data, then apply what they know to solve real-world challenges and create solutions. 

Our faculty teaches rigorous computer science, coding and engineering design and robotics courses using cutting-edge teaching and technological tools. Our students are two-time Top 20 Battle of the Brains finalists and world robotics competitors. Those who don't choose STEAM electives still learn important STEAM principles. They create digital films and 3D art projects, learn research technology and enjoy gamified learning in math, physics, biology and language arts.


List of 3 items.

  • Creative Minds, Curious Minds

    Students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in engaging ways that include breakout scenarios, design challenges and gamification. STEAM principles are the foundation for learning the value of collaboration and creative thinking during a semester of self-guided instruction, project based learning and genius hour projects that encourage innovation and lifelong learning.
  • Middle School Makers

    Sure to inspire creativity, this semester-long course combines all aspects of STEAM to guide students in designing and building one-of-a-kind projects. Start with a Rube Goldberg machine and move on to conductive putty and LED luminaries. The class incorporates computer-assisted design, 3-D printing and more new and exciting technologies.
  • VEX Robotics

    Students learn to build robots—and character. They work in small teams to build, modify and program VEX robots to complete challenges and compete against each other. They also learn to work under the pressure of competition in a fun, supportive environment. VEX Robotics teaches the engineering design process to guide students in strategic decision-making while they learn the valuable skill of iteration to reach a successful outcome.


List of 8 items.

  • 3D Art

    Students create art forms in a wide variety of three dimensional art media including glass, metal, paper, wood, plaster, clay and fibers, with an emphasis on art history. Students will practice translating two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional product and gain appreciation and insight for their world through sculpting from observation, imagination and individual design.
  • AP Computer Science

    This course prepares students for the Computer Science Advanced Placement exam. Topics include basic hardware and software concepts, programming syntax using Java, conditional and iterative statements, algorithms, functions, data structures, and sorting and searching algorithms.
  • CAD for Product Design

    This course is for students interested in 3D printing and design using cutting edge technology. Students will utilize 3D printers and learn Autodesk Fusion 360 software to become product design engineers. They will combine 3D design and engineering to create functional products. This class is ideal for students wishing to explore STEAM careers, including engineers, artists, and inventors. 
  • Engineering Design & Robotics

    This yearlong class introduces students to mechanical and electrical engineering. They learn simple and comlex mechanisms and put design skills to work with Barstow's renowned robotics team.
  • Introduction to JAVA

    This course is a one semester introduction to computer programming using the Java language. No prior programming experience is assumed. Basic concepts of structured programming will be covered, with an emphasis on object-oriented programming techniques.
  • Invention Lab

    Think Barstow Shark Tank. This project-based class develops design thinking to invent, create and solve problems in accordance with the student's desired STEM field. Students build an invention prototype, learn patent law and present their invention for professional feedback.
  • Upper School Makers

    Students learn the design process from conception to completion. They use Computer Assisted Design to make a functional planter. They create and program an LED light. With their newly developed skills, they tackle simple machines, gear ratios and woodworking.
  • Web Development/Database Programming

    Web Development students  learn to design and create web sites. HTML and XML markup languages are included, but the emphasis will be on newer web solutions such as CSS, Javascript, and server-side programming languages. Each student will create a personal web site hosted on Barstow’s student web server.

    Web Database Programming is an honors course in which students construct their own dynamic websites using server-side programming languages and the MySQL database. They study Python and Perl with a primary emphasis on PHP.


When students build robots, the robots build STEAM-loving students. Just ask any member of Barstow's renowned FIRST Robotics Team 1939. The Kuhnigits have qualified for six World Championships, won multiple Chairman's and Engineering Inspiration Awards and earned recognition from NASA and Motorola. 

Beyond building and competition, the team focuses on outreach and service year-round. Members are global leaders in the Go Baby Go movement to adapt ride-on cars into motorized vehicles for children with disabilities. Our student also created a manual and online forum chapters around the world.


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List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Gavin Wood

    Gavin Wood 

    Director of MS & US STEAM, US Robotics Head Coach
    (816) 277-0337
    University of Missouri - B.S.
    University of Missouri - Kansas City - M.A.
  • Photo of Scott Daniel

    Scott Daniel 

    Director of Technology,
    (816) 277-0358
    University of Kansas - M.S.
    University of Kansas - B.A.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227