S.T.E.M. stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics". We offer a dynamic list of required and elective courses designed by our fantastic teachers that align with the careers of the future, especially here in the Dayton region. There is something to engage each unique learner's interests and goals. We work to infuse STEM principles in every course, including the humanities and arts.
At the Dayton Regional STEM School, S.T.E.M. also means "Strategies That Engage Minds". We believe that a STEM learning model can provide the tools needed to be successful in any future path. We use inquiry and project-based instruction to help our students learn to solve problems both independently and collaboratively. They get hands-on with real-world technology and tools, work with professional partners, and showcase their work to authentic audiences. All of these experiences help to bring learning to life and prepare students for life after graduation.
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the teaching method used at the STEM School in which students learn by doing. Rather than simply listening to instructors lecture course materials, completing worksheets, and taking exams, students at STEM are given a driving question and basic knowledge before exploring content through a real-world project. This model helps create an authentic and engaging learning environment for every student. Some favorite projects include the 6th grade Lantern Project, 8th grade Soap Box Derby, 9th grade Mission to the Moon, and more.
Students have the opportunity to explore in-demand career fields through our three Career Pathways in Computer Science, Engineering, and Healthcare. Each student will receive early exposure in required middle school and high school classes, then can deep dive into these fields through elective courses. Students can even receive industry-recognized credentials and in-house specializations for completing one or more pathways.
Each middle school student takes six required courses in the STEM Foundations series, which is a cornerstone of our unique education model. These STEM-based courses -- STEM Exploration, Principles of STEM, Digital Exploration, Engineering Exploration, Digital Design, and Engineering Design -- are the perfect early exposure to our Career Pathways and Dayton's in-demand career fields. Students explore the engineering design process and code their own digital portfolios, as well as learn the basics of PBL, career exploration, professional interactions, critique, and so much more.
Students begin their career and college exploration journey in the 6th grade. All students participate in our annual College and Career Fair, featuring over 50 regional organizations from all industry types. 9th and 10th grade students complete a job shadow, while upperclassmen participate in a 90-hour internship with a mentor of their choosing. Students are also required to complete work-based learning requirements that can be customized to fit their interests, strengths, and goals. This robust exploration program is supported in the classroom and helps students build their resumes and make meaningful and informed decisions in the future.
The STEM School follows the same standards as other public schools, complete with humanities, the arts, languages, and more. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary, linking courses together to show the connection of content in a real-world setting. This helps us shape students into global citizens, no matter what they choose to pursue after graduation.
Not only do our graduates have the technical skills to succeed in the workforce, but they have the Professional Competencies - Professionalism, Leadership, Work Ethic, and Social/Emotional Intelligence - that are on the top of any employer's wish list. These are reinforced in the classroom, through projects, in our ACE culture, and everything we do at STEM.
Our industry, education, government, and community partners help to make learning authentic. They serve as guest experts, pose challenge problems, provide feedback on projects, mentor student interns, attend school events, sponsor special programs, and more. Partners give their time, talent, and treasure to STEM, investing in our incredible students and the region's future workforce.
We believe that a strong school culture is critical to our success. ACE stands for "Accepting Culture for Everyone". At STEM, there is an expectation for everyone in our community to help contribute to a safe, positive, and welcoming learning environment. Our students take great pride in holding themselves and each other accountable for fostering this ACE Culture, which helps us focus on learning instead of other distractions. We have a number of fun and exciting ways to foster culture throughout the year, including grade level socials and picnics, positive behavior awards, and our annual ACE Week celebration.
Technology and Facilities
Did you know the STEM School used to be a shopping plaza? Over the past decade, we've completely repurposed the space into a sprawling high-tech campus with one-of-a-kind facilities, perfectly conducive to student success. The following are just a few highlights you won't see anywhere else:
The Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory (GRILL) is the first Air Force instillation inside a K-12 school in the nation, where AFRL's engineers and computer scientists use modeling and simulation to leverage off-the-shelf gaming software for Air Force training needs. Students frequently partner with the GRILL for projects, career exploration, and after-school programming.
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Photonics (CAMP) helps students learn the science behind industry-grade technology, including 3D printers, laser cutters, and more.
The Vectren Innovation Lab is a flexible project space, perfect for getting hands-on and messy with big projects and equipment, such as soap box derby cars, robotics, and soldering.STEMmersion
For the last 10 days of the school year, every student forgoes their normal class schedule and participates in STEMmersion. This is an exciting opportunity to deep-dive into one STEM topic from a long menu of options created by our teachers. From cross-country adventures to crash courses in aviation, there is something for everyone. This is a time for discovering a love of learning, bonding with peers, using transferable soft-skills, and stepping outside of comfort zones. It's sure to be every student's favorite part of the year.