Research in the general population indicates that many children lose interest in STEM fields as they mature. By the time they reach fourth grade, a full third of students have lost an interest in science. By eighth grade, almost 50 percent have deemed it irrelevant to their education or future plans. Thus, it is imperative to ignite student interest in STEM from the earliest stages. With these facts in mind, STEM3 Academy becomes a full K-12 school in academic year 2016-2017. We hope to spark a passion for science and math in our youngest students with hands-on, play-based curricula in elementary school, nourishing that flame each year as they advance to the next level.
Our approach is to provide a developmentally appropriate STEM education, combining a rigorous curriculum, student-centered and project-based learning revolving around building and making, and a 21st century social skills program. At the heart of each level is the Innovation Lab and Maker’s Space, where students apply knowledge to real-world projects. Beginning with perhaps cardboard models at age five and increasing in complexity each year to sophisticated robotics or rocketry, our students will enjoy experiential learning and cross-disciplinary studies all the way through.