Outside of Academics, SMI has so much to offer its students. Our school is a vibrant, welcoming community that's as exciting outside the classroom as in. From FIRST LEGO Robotics to Sports, to Drama, Music and beyond, there are enrichment activities for every student at St. Mary's Institute.
St. Mary's Institute offers exciting and vibrant sports programming through our Gaels Athletic Department. Soccer season begins in the Fall and Basketball follows as our Winter offering. Additionally, Running Club is offered in the Spring, along with some short-term clinics in Volleyball and Tennis.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. meets every Monday, right after school from 2-3:15PM in the LEGO Robotics Lab. FIRST LEGO League meets Tuesdays from 2-4PM, also in the Lab.
FIRST LEGO League will resume meeting after February break, open to Students in Grades 4 - 8. Meetings will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school until 3:30PM. Grades 4 & 5 choose one day per week to attend, while those in Grades 6 - 8 can attend both days. This is to ensure there are enough robots for all students to have access - the older students can mentor the younger students until they become familiar with the more difficult coding environment.
FIRST LEGO League Jr. for students in Grades 1 - 4, is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.
Teams explore a real-world scientific problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc. Then they create a Show Me poster that illustrates their journey of discovery and introduces their team. They also construct a motorized model of what they learned using LEGO elements. In the process, teams learn about teamwork, the wonders of science and technology, and the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Core Values, which include respect, sharing, and critical thinking. At the close of each season, teams come together on a regional basis to share their Show Me poster and model, celebrate, and have fun!
FIRST LEGO League for students in Grades 5 - 8, research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.
It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM), plus a big dose of imagination, to solve a problem. Along their journey, they develop critical thinking and team-building skills, basic STEM applications, and even presentation skills, as they must present their solutions with a dash of creativity to judges. They also practice the Program’s Core Values, which emphasize discovery, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Thursdays, 2:15 - 3:45PM
Parents may quietly observe all classes.
This is a year long program that involves belt rank testing. There are only two tests each year.
Parents are asked to commit with their child to the program as space is limited. Classes are one day per week.
Enrollment is for St. Mary's Institute students in Grades 1-8.
Classes are on Thursday afternoons, after school for about 90 minutes. There is enough space to accommodate 30 students.
There is no fee for instruction.
Students can purchase a Judo uniform for $55.
(They last about 2 years.)
An annual Judo insurance card is required at the cost of $35.
Children should be dressed in Judo uniform and at mat side five minutes before class begins.
Judo, the Olympic Sport originating in Japan in 1882 is offered as an after school club activity at St. Mary's Institute. The founder, a school principal, created a safe sport that is part of the physical education syllabus of all elementary and middle schools in Japan and France. Judo involves learning the fundamentals of throwing and pinning or grappling techniques. It does not involve striking or weapons. The mission statement of Judo is “Mutual Welfare and Benefit” a philosophy consistent with St. Mary’s Institute. Children learn how to play a game, which will give them skills they can use for a lifetime.
We have four Black Belt Judo Instructors, all certified by the United States Judo Association and recipients of the Diocese of Albany background clearance.
Each year a child will learn 4-6 Judo throwing techniques, and counter throws, 3-4 Judo holding techniques, including escapes, falling techniques, competition strategy, Judo customs and Japanese vocabulary. Normal progression for the first 3 junior ranks is one promotion per year, with longer intervals for the final 3 junior ranks. A summer Judo camp is offered each year. Every child has an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to measure their progress in each area and as a source of feedback for student and parents. This is not a self-defense class. It is a self confidence class.
Children get hurt by not falling properly, not throwing properly or failing to follow directions given by instructional staff. Injuries occur approximately 1-2% of the time and are generally limited to bruises. A first aid kit is mat side and ice packs are in the freezer next to the gymnasium. Your child can also get hurt if they practice Judo at home or at a friend’s house. Judo is only practiced in Judo class.
Without Music, the world would B-flat! Get it? At St. Mary’s, all students, young and old, participate in weekly music classes and the chorus delights us with their vocal talents at Liturgy, concerts, and other school and community events. Each spring, they kick-off baseball season by singing the National Anthem at the Amsterdam Mohawks home game.
The Paul Effman Music Program offers musical instruction of the trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, flute, bells, drums, trombone, and even the glockenspiel in a small, student-centered environment during the school day. Students from grades 3-8 can participate in this program, as well as rent instruments for a nominal fee.