STEM Institute

The STEM Institute at Roland Park Country School strives to foster within girls the attitudes, cognitive skills, and academic foundations to investigate intellectually rigorous problems in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our goal is to produce young women with the confidence, passion, persistence, and curiosity to explore the empirical world and to develop innovative habits of mind. Engaging in a problem-based curriculum, students of the Institute learn to plan research projects, work with others, synthesize new knowledge, generate novel solutions, and communicate effectively about their results. Participants develop the necessary ethical, analytical, and creative reasoning skills to  pursue interests in and to prepare for careers in the STEM disciplines.

Program Description

The core of the STEM Institute consists of a series of semester-long research apprenticeships that may be taken in sequential order or as stand-alone courses. These programs are intended for both the student with an interest in a STEM career and the student who is exploring STEM research for the first time. Each course in the ninth and 10th grades teaches a collection of unique skill sets within specific STEM fields that complement the regular scope and sequence of the RPCS math and science programs, and all of the courses employ differentiated instruction to meet the academic needs of students with prior STEM experience as well as those of the novice researcher. Graduates of the STEM Institute will be expected to take all four semesters during ninth and 10th grade, the yearlong 11th grade STEM internship, and then develop a final portfolio of major work completed. The units and semesters in ninth and 10th grade remain autonomous, and any student may take any one (or more) of the semester courses on a pass/fail basis. However, any student who fails to make adequate progress will not be permitted to continue in the Institute.

“The STEM disciplines are important for all students. They teach logical thinking as well as practical skills. Yet, too often, girls buy into the societal pressure that these subjects are not
for them.” The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools