K-12 STEM Program
The progressive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program at SDJA is a reflection of the nationwide movement to reform the way STEM is taught in K-12 and at undergraduate and graduate levels. SDJA’s implementation of STEM is “distinctive” in that it provides a sequential series of increasingly challenging opportunities where skills are developed through hands-on scientific exploration; this is run in parallel to the traditional course offerings. Our program develops students who are well prepared for the rigors of college STEM programs and will take their place as future science and technology innovators.
In the lower school, time is set aside for the students to explore STEM through project-based and student-driven learning. This program is designed to develop critical thinking skills from an early age.
Our middle school program provides students with the opportunity to hone their STEM skills while working towards a science fair project.
In high school students have the opportunity to participate in our engineering program and may opt to take part in the Robotics team. Additionally students, passionate about STEM, may participate in the STEM Research Program where they may invent or carry out “Blue Sky Research.”
This educational philosophy allows students the opportunity to choose any area of STEM that they find interesting and soar to whatever level is achievable!
“I was never sure that I wanted to pursue a STEM field at college. A large reason why I became a Chemical Engineer was because of my experiences doing research in high school. STEM was nothing like any other high school class. You go behind simple problem sets and readings. You have the opportunity to work independently or with leading experts to make a significant impact on the scientific community. I don’t think there are any other classes where your work has this type of impact.” Melissa Fagan (Princeton, SDJA graduated 2013)
“STEM differed from other high school classes in that I was in complete control over what I got out of the class. I was able to pursue all avenues I wanted to pursue, and never felt that I was doing busy work. The most important thing I gained from the STEM experience is the ability to act on passion, and the knowledge of where I want to go in life.” Matthew Goldklang (Yale, SDJA graduate 2012)
“The STEM program was of great value to me and my personal educational philosophy. The most important thing I learned is that generally accepted norms can be challenged and that with enough hard work even a 17 year old can work side by side with 40-year-old professors as peers.” Marc Bielas (Yale, SDJA graduate 2014)