STEAM at Barstow


Barstow's signature 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. 


Lower school students build their understanding of technology, learn to solve problems and improve designs and processes. It's the foundation for more advanced STEAM learning in middle and upper school.

In weekly STEAM class, students tackle gaming challenges and maker projects, like creating a bionengineered robotic hand or designing furniture with instructions for other students to build it.  STEAM principles are integrated across disciplines and every classroom is equipped with a station filled with  supplies students need to puzzle out solutions to a set of challenges. Our 1:1 iPad program starts in kindergarten—and students throughout lower school learn to use technology responsibly.


Middle school students actively seek information rather than just receive it from teachers. They already know how to find information in a digital world; STEAM skills teach them how to use that information to solve problems and create solutions. 

In VEX Robotics, teams build and program robots, then learn computer coding to put them through a series of challenges and competitions. In Middle School Makers, they brainstorm, invent and create products using cutting edge techniques and tools. We offer STEAM-centered electives for every kind of creative mind — digital, musical, artistic and analytical. In science, math, language and arts classes, students routinely use design thinking to analyze and solve real-world problems — and to create projects that leap off the page and into the world of 21st century learning.


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 apply STEAM principles to gather and evaluate data, create projects and solve challenges across disciplines and in a broad selection of electives. 

In STEAM-specific electives, students learn computer science, coding and engineering design while using the latest technological tools including laser cutters and 3D printers. Barstow's renowned robotics team competes nationally and designs innovative mobility vehicales for children with special needs.

Students also use of STEAM principles in modern languages, literature, history and human geography classes.  History students become digital filmmakers who produce documentaries in addition to research papers.  Math and world language teachers use gamification to build critical thinking and problem solving skills. STEAM is infused into all subjects through hands-on projects and experiences.


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 robot building and competition, the team focuses on outreach and service year-round. Members are global leaders in the Go Baby Go! movement to adapt Power Wheels cars into motorized vehicles for children with disabilities, and even wrote the online manual for chapters around the world to make their own adapted vehicles. 


List of 4 items.


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Scott Daniel

    Scott Daniel 

    Director of Technology, US Science
    (816) 277-0358
    University of Kansas - M.S.
    University of Kansas - B.A.
  • Photo of Gavin Wood

    Gavin Wood 

    Director of MS & US STEAM, US Robotics Head Coach
    (816) 277-0450
    University of Missouri - B.S.
    University of Missouri - Kansas City - M.A.
  • Photo of Asha Molina

    Asha Molina 

    LS Grade 3
    (816) 277-0369
    Rockhurst University - B.A.

The Barstow School

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