RPCS Gifted $1.75M to Support STEAM/STEM Education
Roland Park Country School (RPCS) has received a $1,750,000 pledge from alumna Holliday “Holly” Cross Heine, 1962 and her husband John “Jack” C. Heine of Santa Barbara, California. The pledge will be split to create three separate endowments that will fund in perpetuity a new K-8 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Director role, the existing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Director role and the School’s signature STEM Institute.
“I am profoundly grateful to Holly and Jack for their generosity and enthusiastic support of our comprehensive STEM and STEAM curricula, which span every grade level and department,” said Caroline Blatti, Head of School. “I am also so honored that as an alumna who has built such a successful career in this field, Holly shares our purpose of intentionally harnessing our students’ boundless imaginations and curiosity to give them the confidence, knowledge and tools they need to build a solid foundation and deep understanding of these concepts.”
A graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. and from Suffolk University with a J.D., Holly has turned a passion for the sciences into a thriving career as a patent attorney. Since her graduation from RPCS in 1962, Holly has supported other science-focused initiatives at her alma mater, including the Environmental Science Summer Research Experience (ESSRE), a three-week summer internship experience which has brought over 265 young women from 28 different schools together to engage in authentic, self-directed primary research, nurturing interests in STEM fields as a possible career option.
“My husband and I decided to make this commitment because we believe in the power of a STEAM/STEM education and in Roland Park Country School’s ability to equip more young women with the critical skills that are necessary to have a career in these fields, if they wish,” said Holly. “We also know that, because of the school’s generosity towards other local schools, expanding these critical STEAM/STEM initiatives at Roland Park Country School will help enlarge the environment in general where young women can develop these skills and the confidence to create successful careers in fields where women are currently under-represented. RPCS has helped me define my own career path, and I want to do the same for other women.”
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. Other recent STEM initiatives include the school’s first-ever STEAM immersion week in the Lower School and the 8th grade STEM class’s participation in the FIRST LEGO League-Into Orbit Challenge, both in 2019.