STEAM 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). 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.
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 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.
At the end of the year, The STEM Certificate Fourth Academic students presented their portfolios to the underclassmen.
Stone Ridge STEM Certificate Program Steps
1. Participate in a summer internship or research experience in a STEM field usually after the Third Academic year. Present at a conference or symposium.
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"
Present results from your internship/project at a Conference/Symposium such as those listed here:
- Innovation Symposium (DMV area Independent Schools)
- #Lead Like a Girl (Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart)
- High School Principals Association Academic Symposium (Archdiocese of Washington DC)
2. Participate in activities outside of Stone Ridge that focus on a STEM/STEAM topic.
Examples include academic lectures or events, camps, short classes, conferences, field trips, interscholastic competitions, etc. This is meant to stimulate a new experience and should be different and distinct from the internship.
Students are encouraged to compete at events such as Physics Olympics, Robotics, Chemathon and other outside competitions such as Science Intel Science Search, Siemens Competition, Google Science Fair, Spark It Challenge (Engineering/Design)
3. Produce an online portfolio of STEM related experiences.
Students first complete a template for their portfolio and then will generate and share their online portfolio documenting their accomplishments to the STEM Focus Group. Research posters/papers and photographs should accompany the portfolio where applicable
- Complete a portfolio template log.
- Submit a URL of an online portfolio. Here are three example of online portfolios:
4. Act as a student ambassador for STEM/STEAM related programming at Stone Ridge. Build community by providing peer-tutoring as requested by faculty. Attend regularly scheduled STEM Certificate Program meetings.
5. Complete three core science courses (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) plus two advanced placement/honors courses in a STEM/STEAM subject area*.
- Complete a minimum total of 8 units from the Math and Science Departments.
Eligible students that finish all program steps will receive a certificate that recognizes completion of the Stone Ridge STEM Certificate Program.