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What is STEP?

The Science and Technology Education Program focuses on a different approach to learning.  The program consists of a selection of specially-designed courses that develop students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills through interactive learning opportunities.  In STEP, students learn while experimenting, analyzing, designing, and building.  As a result, STEP students gain a deeper understanding of the course content, in a more engaging way, while developing a variety of transferable learning skills.

STEP focuses on the integration of science and technology to teach students about the interconnectedness of learning and the importance of applying their skills to all aspects and areas of their education.  Exposure to a technology-rich environment, field trip opportunities, and community experts further enhances students’ learning experiences.

If you are thinking of a career in science, engineering, technological/computer design, health care, or sustainable development pathways, for example, STEP may be for you.  Rainbow District School Board that provides transportation to Lockerby Composite School by bus for students who are part of STEP.  Upon the successful completion of this program (Grades 9 through 12), students will receive a STEP certificate.  This certificate, in addition to students’ ongoing portfolio of work, can be used in selection of students for particular programs at the post-secondary levels.

STEP in Grades 9 and 10

Students in Grades 9 and 10 study Science, Technological Design, Mathematics, and Geography for the entire school year.  Combining these courses allows students to participate in weekly STEP integration days.  Under our STEP model, students complete their other courses (English, Physical Education,French/Ojibwe, and Visual Art/Music) while following a conventional semestered framework.  In an evolving world that relies on the connection between science and technology, our enriching program structure provides students with an opportunity to solve complex problems, supporting year-round student learning.

STEP Integration Days

STEP integration days are unique learning experiences that allow students to work collaboratively and simultaneously with teachers from multiple disciplines (Science, Technological Design, Mathematics, and Geography).  On these days, students develop their technological building skills, learn about the engineering design process, and are given the time to create, invent, design, and construct prototypes.  Moreover, our integration days allows classroom learning to be enhanced with experiential learning, field trips, and mentorships with our school’s community partnerships – a truly enriching educational experience.

Viking Houses

Given the framework of our programming, all Viking STEP students (on their first day of classes) will take part in Lockerby’s ‘Viking House Sorting Ceremony,’ a yearly custom that is held in our Auditorium.  At the ceremony, STEP students are sorted into their respective Viking Houses and assigned their STEP homeroom classes for their Grade 9 year.  STEP students will remain in their Viking Houses throughout their time at Lockerby Composite School.  Each Viking House represents a unique learning environment and community for STEP students.  Each Viking House has its own set of distinct characteristics and personalities that is driven by the Viking students and staff within it.  Our Viking Houses help to create a positive culture for our STEP students, which enables them to further build their character, which also helps them to develop stronger collaborative relationships that will last throughout their high school careers.

Our STEP Teaching Staff (Grade 9: 2024 – 2025)

STEP Teachers (2024)

From Left to Right: Ms. Donato (Science), Ms. Potvin (Science), Ms. McNair (Geography), Mr. Dykstra (STEP Integration), Mr. Patrie (Mathematics), Mr. Savage (Geography), Mr. Cole (Technological Studies), and Mr. Christie (Technological Studies)

STEP in Grades 11 and 12

STEP students in Grades 11 and 12 have the opportunity to choose a specialization based on their courses of interest and they use their skills acquired in Grades 9 and 10 to further their learning in their desired post-secondary pathway.  At Lockerby Composite School, STEP students select from four unique disciplines that support an evolving world that relies on the connection between science and technology.

If you are motivated and want to learn in a classroom with like-minded students, STEP is right for you.  To be eligible for admission, the STEP Committee reviews all applications and candidates will be notified of their status (accepted/declined) by email at a later date.  Along with good attendance, learning skills, and interest in our programming, an average of 75% or higher is required in the following courses (Science and Technology, Mathematics, Language, and Geography) in order to be eligible for STEP.  To apply, download all of the relevant documents from our Registration / Application Page or come to the school to pick-up a package.


Laptop Learning Device

To support STEP Integrations Days and classroom learning, students are highly encouraged to have a laptop device based on the following specification recommendations:

laptop specifications

Based on the above specifications, the most reasonably priced laptop would cost (on sale) approximately $500, which would traditionally retail for approximately $650.
Throughout students’ 4-year learning journey, a laptop will support STEP students in our educational programming with the use of some of the following software (on STEP Integration Days and otherwise):
  • AutoCAD (2D and 3D design)
  • Fusion (3D design and 3D printing)
  • (Graphic editing – Windows only)
  • Inkscape (Vector graphics design)
  • GIMP (Graphic editing)
  • Video editing software
  • Vernier probeware and experiment software

With laptop learning, students have access to more software (as some STEP software does not have any good Chromebook alternatives).  Likewise, through STEP, students will also learn how to work with the laptop file system and will be able to work offline from anywhere:

  • Organizing files and folders
  • Renaming, relocating, duplicating, deleting files and folders
  • Learning how to properly install software
Should you have any further questions or concerns about laptop learning devices, please do not hesitate to reach out to  the school.