News Post

Junior STEAM Day
Junior STEAM Day

Junior STEAM Day

On January 25, half of the junior class* experienced MCA's first Junior STEAM Day, a day of exploration and hands-on experiences with organizations that utilize science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in their day-to-day operations. Students were able to see forensic chemistry, zoology, sound engineering, design, ecology, aerospace engineering, astronomy, food science, civil engineering, and more at work in the real world.

Students divided into four groups, choosing their preference from four different opportunities. One group visited Michoud Assembly Facility, NASA's rocket factory, and the Army Corps of Engineers at the London Avenue Canal; a second group explored the Audubon Zoo and the world of commercial food production at Pigeon Caterers/Carnival Brands; another group traveled to the Audubon Nature Institute's Nature Center and planetarium and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation; and a fourth group learned about forensic chemistry at the Jefferson Parish Crime Lab and sound engineering at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The following day, these students spent the day at The National WWII Museum to explore the artifacts, archives, and oral histories of World War II.

*The other half of the class traveled to the Solomon Episcopal Conference Center on the Northshore for Junior Retreat. The overnight retreat included activities centered around friendship, unity, and spirituality. Next week the groups will flip. The students that were on retreat this week will participate in Junior STEAM Day and visit The National WWII Museum and vice versa.


1. Michoud Assembly Facility / Army Corps of Engineers

Students visited the Michoud Assembly Facility, NASA's rocket factory, where they learned about engineering, received an overview of the Space Launch System, and were given a guided tour of the facility. Students enjoyed a working lunch with women engineers currently employed at the Michoud Assembly Center.

During the second half of the day, students traveled to the London Avenue Canal where they explored the workings of a pumping station. Engineers from the Army Corps of Engineers gave a guided tour followed by a question and answer session.

2. Audubon Zoo / Culinary Experience

Students spent the morning exploring at the zoo. After lunch in Audubon Park, the girls traveled to two different sites operated by Pigeon Caterers/Carnival Brands to learn about commercial food production. At each site, they toured the facility and engaged in discussions about food science (preparation, cooking, large-scale recipe production, refrigeration, sanitation, etc.).

3. Audubon Nature Institute / Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Students in this group began by traveling to the Audubon Nature Institute. They enjoyed a private viewing of a planetarium show in addition to a self-guided scavenger hunt through the newly-opened Nature Center. After lunch in Joe Brown Park, the girls traveled to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. They watched a STEM presentation, conducted water quality testing, and toured the museum.

4. JPSO Crime Lab / New Orleans Jazz Museum

The day began with a visit to JPSO Crime Lab, where students toured the lab followed by a discussion with a forensic chemist. The students then traveled to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. They joined sound engineers as they prepared for a live interview/broadcast with local jazz drummer and radio personality Fred Kastan. After learning about the behind-the-scenes work, students were able to witness sound engineering in action.