STEM is curriculum based with an interdisciplinary and applied approach to educating students across multiple disciplines that include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, (and sometimes Art: STEAM). Our students develop skills acquired through these disciplines, including intellectual, artistic, communication, and leadership skills, to solve global and humanitarian challenges that face our world. Our hands-on approach to STEM and STEAM cultivates inquiry, design skills, and creativity.
Engineering students from the Upper School engaged Kindergarten students in a mutual study on bridges. The Kindergarten has a "design center" in the dramatic play area where the children designed different bridges from marshmallows, toothpicks, and packing peanuts.
Grade 3 students designed and built a model Maglev train, studying forces and motion through magnets and taking measurements. They presented data through an iPad journal. The students had to advertise and sell their new device to classmates.
Little Hearts - Preschool
Our Preschool children explore nature in the outdoor classroom, through project-based, interdisciplinary learning that includes all the STEAM components. The children are guided during center/exploration time and participate in the planning process.
Grade 6 students engage in numerous labs, utilizing math skills and applications on their ThinkPads. Students build mousetrap cars as a capstone STEM project in the spring.
Students participate in an annual 3D-printed Christmas ornament contest through tinkercad.com and use our 3D printer in the Applied Creativity Center.
The spring Science Competition is an annual highlight for our Grade 7 & 8 students. All project work is completed at school. Drawing on their math skills the students build boats, rafts, egg drops, kites, and catapults.
Our Art and Technology Departments joined creative forces to work with Stone Ridge ceramics students to build a 3D printer from scratch. This project allowed the students to combine their experience of working with clay and their knowledge of engineering and technology.
Physics students researched specific technology to provide cleaner cooking alternatives for women in developing countries. The students chose to focus on solar cooking, as an alternative to wood stoves, and designed, built and tested solar ovens. The projects were inspired by Sacred Heart missions in Uganda/Kenya.
In the Environmental Science class students often visits nearby Rock Creek Park as extension of their classroom, conducting tests in the creek and examining wildlife.
STEM Certificate Program in the Upper School
In the Upper School, students uncover a passion for scientific discovery and seek to engage in scientific research and internship opportunities beyond the classroom. The Stone Ridge STEM Certificate recognizes those students that have demonstrated further interest in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) by having completed a variety of activities including an internship outside of Stone Ridge.
With guidance and support from the program coordinator and the Science Department faculty, students find internship opportunities in the DC metro area--an area rich in technology and scientific endeavor. On campus, the students work with and lead student groups in local science and technology-related competitions, such as Science Olympiad, Physics Olympics, Chemathon, and Robotics. In addition, upperclassmen work with younger students as peer tutors. Students produce a portfolio of related experiences building science and technology knowledge and skills.
The purpose of the STEM Certificate Program is to support learning based on current best practices, especially with girls. The program aims to provide Stone Ridge students a healthy and balanced way to demonstrate their mastery of skills expected at the next level and allow girls to have more opportunities for the types of educational experiences that are believed to be most effective with girls, such as working with role female models. Girls interested in science and technology need the opportunity to experience all types of innovation inside and outside the classroom and especially benefit from the experience of time in the laboratory or design space. For more information, please contact the program director Mrs. Kathleen Flood.
SR students at Tech Shop in Arlington, VA, a community-based space where entrepreneurs, artists, makers, teachers, and students come together to learn and work together.
Maryland Science Olympiad gives SR students teamwork-oriented science challenges. Tournament events are balanced between life science, earth and space science, chemistry, physics, technology, and inquiry.
SR students' summer internships at SR neighbors, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (USUHS) and National Institute of Health.
- Students may complete this requirement by participating in a research project/internship that consists of at least 240 hours or take the SR summer class "SR Girls and the Maker Movement: Design, Create and Prototype".
- Science Olympiad
- Physics Olympics
- Outside Competitions
4. Do an activity outside of Stone Ridge that focuses on a STEM topic. Examples include academic lectures or events, camps, short classes, conferences, etc. This is meant to stimulate a new experience and should be different from the internship.
5. Produce an online portfolio of STEM related experiences. Students should present their online portfolio documenting their accomplishments to the STEM Focus Group. Research posters and photographs should accompany the presentation where applicable.
7. Complete three core science courses (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) plus two advanced placement courses in a STEM subject area*. Complete a minimum total of 8 units (as defined in the Stone Ridge course of study) from the Math and Science Departments**.
Complete 6 units*
Chemistry (Std or Honors levels)
Anatomy and Physiology
Honors Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Algebra II (any level)
Geometry (any level)
Precalculus (any level)
Introduction to Calculus
Forensic Science (half unit)
Engineering (half unit)
Complete 2 units**
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Computer Science
AP Environmental Science
Eligible students that finish all program requirements will receive a certificate, which recognizes completion of the Stone Ridge STEM Certificate Program.