• Leadership
Building Community Through Competition
Stone Ridge
Dr. Austin with a student holding her project.


In the 22 years Dr. Karl Austin has been a science teacher at Stone Ridge, he has picked up his Master’s and Doctorate degrees and is ready for a new chapter in his career. In his departure, Dr. Austin leaves an undeniable mark on the Middle School Science Department, most notably the annual STEAM Day competition that has kindled a love for STEAM fields in the hearts and minds of many of his students. STEAM Day is the culminating event of Grade 7 and 8 students’ spring projects. Students have two weeks  to work on a project of their choice building electric cars, rafts, catapults, kites, bridges, gliders, and more. Students own the project from ideation through completion, choosing to work individually or in teams, and are provided all of the materials and tools to work in class on these projects. On the day of competition, they test their final designs against others within their grade level. Students all over campus come out to watch the competitions. Lower School students are given a glimpse into what’s to come and Upper School students who catch the competitions are able to reminisce about their projects. Dr. Austin crafted STEAM Day as a testament to Middle School academics and the spirit of Stone Ridge’s commitment to the Goals of a Sacred Heart Education.

As Dr. Austin expands his horizons, he is leaving knowing he has contributed to the success of many young women who have graduated and pursued careers as doctors, engineers, or researchers, “getting to hear about students continuing to grow passionate about science and STEAM fields is really probably the best thing,” he reflected.