Support YHS

Support Senior STEAM

It's Full STEAM Ahead in the Senior School


Building on the success of our STEAM program in the Junior School, we are creating a new STEAM lab in the Senior School.

This dynamic STEAM lab will create a hub where students can explore a problem, engage in research, generate ideas, take risks, prototype, and construct solutions that draw on the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).

This 1300 square foot space will be located outside the entrance of the Senior School and will feature lab equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters, soldering stations, and maker space tools.

We are looking to our community to help bring this project to life. We plan to begin construction in the spring of 2020 with the launch of the program in September 2020.

Our Fundraising Goal

The cost of this project will be $1.5 million for design, construction, and equipment. We invite our parent community to participate in our fundraising efforts for this exciting new learning space.

By supporting this initiative, you will become a partner in the school’s mission to inspire and empower students to take ideas to action. For more information about this exciting project and how your family can be involved, please contact Nik Williams-Walshe, Director of Advancement at or 604.730.2411.

Questions & Answers:

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • What is STEAM?

    The STEAM acronym refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math. A STEAM lab and program will provide students with opportunities to develop knowledge, design-thinking skills, and entrepreneurial mindsets they need to thrive in today’s world. Students will explore interdisciplinary questions and challenges and draw on the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) for innovation. This program will build on the success of our STEAM program in the Junior School.
  • Why is STEAM important?

    Issues and jobs in the real world are interdisciplinary. For example, an architect uses science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to do her job. She incorporates creative and critical thinking, and collaboration skills, and applies them in real situations. A new STEAM lab will create a hub for exploring “what if” and “how might we” questions, and for interdisciplinary research, idea generation, prototyping, and product and/or solution development. Through discovery learning and inquiry, the STEAM lab is one place in the school where students will start with a question or issue and pursue a design-thinking process to bring their ideas to life.
  • How will STEAM advance teaching and learning at YHS?

    At York House School, our mission is to empower students to understand and act on issues and opportunities that matter to them and to the world.

    We know that as we prepare our students for the world beyond York House that we need to equip them with the confidence to be able to approach problems in thoughtful ways and to collaborate with others to find innovative solutions.

    From K-12 at York House School, we design innovative learning experiences that cultivate students’ global competence. Global competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students need to understand and act on issues of local and global significance. We empower students to:

    (1) know themselves;
    (2) investigate the world with critical and creative thinking and collaboration tools;
    (3) recognize the importance of understanding different perspectives; and
    (4) take informed and ethical action

    STEAM is one of the many ways through which we bring this learning to life at York House School.
  • Why is developing global competence in students a focus at YHS?

    In a rapidly changing world, students must learn how to approach a complex issue and contribute to its solution. We know that universities and employers are looking for globally competent individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and mindsets to do just that and be the change-makers of the future.

    York House students already recognize the value and relevance of this focus. They are curious and passionate about a wide range of issues and are eager to find ways to become actively involved in developing solutions.

    We are committed to creating opportunities throughout their learning journey at York House to explore issues critically and creatively; collaborate with peers, educators, and community specialists; and develop confidence in their ability to shape the world around them.

    As a school, we wish to provide thoughtfully designed and innovative learning experiences and spaces for our students to take those ideas to action in meaningful, disciplined, and relevant ways.
  • How is STEAM connected to creating real-world learning experiences?

    Through the process of design-thinking, students will engage with issues that matter to them. In addition, we look forward to leveraging the talents and experience of our parent community in creating networks that will provide skilled volunteering opportunities as well access to internship and mentorship opportunities.
  • How will my daughter get exposure to STEAM in the Senior School?

    This year we have introduced a new role, a Senior School STEAM Coordinator, who will facilitate inquiry-based learning with teachers across disciplines. This will create opportunities for students to explore STEAM through many classes offered in the Senior School. 
  • How will the school minimize disruption with construction at the school?

    Our construction schedule will be set to minimize any disruption at the school. Construction is set to begin in early spring 2020. There may be a short time where the entrance into the front of the Senior School will be modified. As the space itself is located under the administration offices, classrooms will not be disrupted, and there will be little impact on students. We expect the project to be completed in the summer of 2020 and the launch of the space will be ready for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Where is the STEAM lab going to be located in the Senior School?

    The STEAM Lab located to the left of the Senior School entrance where there is currently an outdoor gathering space. Over the years, this has been an underutilized space. Having completed a feasibility study, we are confident that converting this space is an optimal way to expand both our programming and innovative learning environments.
  • Will my contribution to the STEAM lab be considered to be my Annual Giving gift?

    No, the physical construction of the STEAM lab is a separate fundraising campaign from the Annual Giving appeal. Donations made to the Senior STEAM appeal will directly help with the costs associated with building this new and important learning space.

    The Annual Giving appeal is a campaign that runs from October through June. Every family at York House is asked to participate by making a donation to support initiatives and co-curricular programs and resources we deliver to our girls not covered by the operating budget.
  • The Parents’ Association is also fundraising for the STEAM Lab at Bid Night this year. Are you fundraising for the same thing?

    No. The Parents Association has generously agreed to support the specific purchase of furniture and equipment for the STEAM lab through funds raised from Bid Night. This will include a laser cutter, 3D printers, metalwork tables, storage units and cabinets, and maker space tools. Donations to Bid Night will be recorded and designated separately from the Annual Giving campaign.

Partnering to Create Real-world Learning Opportunities

We look forward to leveraging the skills, expertise and networks of our outstanding parent community so that we may develop internship, mentorship and skilled volunteering opportunities for our students. We believe that these types of real-world learning experiences will deepen our girls' learning and allow them to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to be successful as they move into their post-secondary experiences.
“As a technology executive, the skills our workforce of the future require are transdisciplinary and design-centred, counting on computational thinking and new media literacy. As a YHS parent, the importance of innovative programming where novel and adaptive thinking prepares our girls to make sense of the world beyond YHS is critical. The plans for integrating learning, providing a maker space and embedding an entrepreneurial mindset across all subjects will ensure our girls are ready for this future.”  — Kirsten Sutton, Managing Director, SAP Labs Canada (Class of '83)