STEM and Technology

STEM Fellow and Design Thinking

STEM Fellow

The St. Margaret’s STEM fellow is an endowed position charged with paving the future of the expanding STEM curriculum by developing and deepening learning experiences with a strong emphasis on technology and engineering, focusing on robotics, software apps, engineering and entrepreneurship.  The fellow is responsible for carefully allocating endowment resources for the betterment of STEM education for students in Early Childhood School through Upper School.
The STEM fellowship fund stands as a physical representation of St. Margaret’s commitment to advance STEM education at St. Margaret’s.  The fund was established to provide financial and programmatic resources to be available for the school in perpetuity.  We are grateful to our generous community for supporting the importance of STEM at St. Margaret’s. 

Design Thinking


“Learning is a consequence of thinking.  Students’ understanding of content, and even their memory for content, increases when they think through – and with – the concepts and information they are studying.” 


The best STEM instruction focuses on the thinking processes embedded in STEM subjects.  What we know from decades of conclusive research is that students learn better when they are actively engaged in thinking as opposed to simply receiving and memorizing material.  At St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, our teachers have long moved away from simply providing content to students, and teach thinking skills as well. Our teachers make thinking visible for students to understand how to think through a problem, a piece of text or a new topic. 
Drawing inspiration from Stanford University’s, St. Margaret’s utilizes the Design Thinking process in STEM education as a catalyst for innovation, creativity, problem solving, and invention.
The Design Thinking process begins with empathy.  In order to determine the best solution, the designer has to first understand the experience of the user. Once the designer has fully empathized and understood the challenges faced by the potential user, it is time to define a user point of view that will inform the design.  The next step in the process is to ideate--come up with a multitude of diverse possible solutions.  In this stage, the sky is the limit!  Once all possibilities have been explored, it is time to prototype or transform the ideas into a physical form.  This is often the stage when students are able to utilize new subject specific knowledge or the variety of technological resources at their fingertips.  Perhaps they will utilize a pulley or a simple machine in the prototype, or a 3D printer.  The final stage is to test, test and test again.  In this phase, designers are refining the prototype and using observations and feedback to make it better.
Embracing failures, which typically implies negative outcomes, is critical to the design thinking process. Students are challenged to see early failure as an important part of the experience of innovation and creation that stimulates new learning and understanding and ultimately produces better outcomes and solutions.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Angela Mackenzie

    Angela Mackenzie 

    Director Educational Technology and Library; Department Chair
    (949) 661-0108 x1341
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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