Barry McNamara  |   Published January 31, 2022

Fox Classics Lecture

Innovative teacher Nathalie Roy to show how STEM ties into ancient world during Feb. 21 event.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Although the acronym STEM – which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics – did not become popular until the 21st century, its root elements go back thousands of years.

NATHALIE ROY: Louisiana middle school teacher to present Monmouth College's Fox Classics Lect... NATHALIE ROY: Louisiana middle school teacher to present Monmouth College's Fox Classics Lecture on Feb. 21.That will be a chief point made by guest speaker Nathalie Roy, who will present Monmouth College’s 37th annual Bernice L. Fox Classics Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in Dahl Chapel & Auditorium. (Note: This event was originally scheduled to be held in the Pattee Auditorium on the lower level of the Center for Science and Business, but it was moved to accommodate a larger socially distanced audience.)

Titled “Metamorphosis: Merging Classics and STEM – A Teacher’s Journey with an Evolving Student Body,” the lecture is free and open to the public.

Roy had no intention of becoming an educational entrepreneur infusing classics with STEM. But an unplanned job switch required a professional reinvention. Roy researched, developed, and now teaches a course called “Roman Technology,” in which her students at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recreate the products and processes of ancient Roman daily life through experimental archaeology and hands-on labs.

Roy’s ancient STEM approach has been a hit at her diverse school, and has also became a national phenomenon. During the pandemic shutdowns of 2020, she partnered with Excellence Through Classics Live to offer free, hands-on lessons for schools nationwide on such topics as Roman catapults, mosaics, and makeup. Roy’s metamorphosis is a story of adaptability, creativity and the flexible impact of classical studies and STEM.

A National Board-Certified Teacher, Roy has been recognized for excellence by several prominent organizations. She was the Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, won the Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Pre-K-12 Level from the Society for Classical Studies, and received an Award for Outstanding Promotional Activity in the Schools from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, all in 2021.

After graduating from the rural Avoyelles Parish School System, Roy studied classics at Louisiana State University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. A Fulbright Scholar, Roy has studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and at the American Academy in Rome. As a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, Roy strives to lead a life of courage, confidence and character, and to make the world a better place.

Established in 1985, the Fox Classics Lecture honors the late Bernice L. Fox, who taught classics at Monmouth College from 1947 to 1981. The series’ goal is to illustrate the continuing importance of classical studies in the modern world and the intersection of the classics with other disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences.

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