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 Science Department faculty, students find internship opportunities in the DC metro area--an area rich in technology and scientific endeavor. Back on campus, students will work with and lead groups like Science Club and compete in local STEM related competitions such as the Central Maryland Physics Olympics. 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 our students a healthy and balanced way to demonstrate their mastery of skills expected at the next level. Girls interested in scientific inquiry and engineering design need the opportunity to experience all types of technology inside and outside the classroom. For more information, please contact Joanna Caudle, Upper School Science Department Chair.
Stone Ridge STEM Certificate Program Components
Goal II in Action: SR STEM Girls pursue a deeper understanding and receive hands-on experience in the STEM field
- Students will complete a minimum of 8 units from the Math and Science Departments, including three core science courses (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) plus at least two advanced placement/honors courses in a STEM/STEAM subject.
- Typically following the Third Academic year, students will participate in a summer internship or research experience in a STEM field and will present a summary of their work at a conference or symposium.
- The research project/internship (or combination of STEM activities) will consists of at least 240 hours or a student can take the SR summer class "SR Girls and the Maker Movement: Design, Create and Prototype."
- Students will generate and share an online portfolio documenting their accomplishments.
- Students present the results from their internship/project to their peers and the Stone Ridge STEM Community. Other presentation venues may include a Conference or Symposium such as:
- #Lead Like a Girl (Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart)
- High School Principals Association Academic Symposium (Archdiocese of Washington DC)
Goal IV in Action: SR STEM Girls participate in activities both in and outside of School
- In the Second and Third Academic years, students begin to attend STEM Certificate information and progress meetings and actively participate in science and robotics clubs and/or STEM-themed SCGs on campus.
- Students are invited to participate in other events sponsored by the SR Science Department, such as meetings with professional scientists and engineers, and field trips to area science labs and technology institutes. All students will attend the annual STEM Council Meeting, a unique mentoring and networking event of alumnae and parent STEM professionals.
- Students will act as an ambassador for STEM/STEAM related programming at Stone Ridge and will build community by providing peer-tutoring as requested by faculty.
- Students are encouraged to seek out STEM/STEAM opportunities in the Washington metro area. Examples include academic lectures or events at area universities, camps, short classes, conferences, etc.
- 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.
Eligible students that complete all program components will receive a certificate at graduation that recognizes completion of the Stone Ridge STEM Certificate Program.