St. Mary’s County Public School System has developed a rigorous and unique program of study emphasizing the core areas of mathematics and science with an infusion of technology and engineering. This STEM program is available to all SMCPS students grades 4-12 through an application process, and is housed at three schools: Lexington Park Elementary School, Spring Ridge Middle School, and Great Mills High School.
Within the STEM program, there is an emphasis on critical and creative thinking in all academic coursework as well as an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum. Students are exposed to the most contemporary technologies to develop their scientific inquiry skills, mathematical calculation abilities and problem-solving techniques. Reading and technical writing skills are developed and refined, and a focus on both verbal and visual communication abilities exists within the program. STEM students complete culminating projects, done both individually and cooperatively, to emphasize and apply learned concepts.
STEM - Contacts
Supervisor of Instruction: Academy Programs and Advanced Placement
23160 Moakley Street
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-475-5511 ext. 32104
STEM - FAQ
What is the STEM Academy?
The STEM Academy is a special program for highly able students with a systematic and enriched focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics for our school system’s most capable students with demonstrated learning potential in the areas of science and mathematics.
Where will the STEM Academy programs be housed?
Lexington Park Elementary, Spring Ridge Middle, and Great Mills High School
What grade levels will be included in the STEM?
STEM includes classes in grades 4-11. Grade 12 Seniors are required to complete an Internship during their last year of the STEM Academy.
Who attends the STEM Academy?
Any student who is grade appropriate can apply but there are criteria to determine our most eligible and likely to succeed students for this specialized program.
Why should STEM be in the elementary school? Why is it housed at Lexington Park Elementary, Spring Ridge Middle, and Great Mills High?
STEM programs are beginning throughout the state and SMCPS recognizes the need to provide an advanced program focusing on science and mathematics for some of our growing learners. The three schools selected are located in close proximity to the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, a major STEM partner. This allows students regular and frequent opportunities for field experiences to the naval base. Additionally, all three schools have the available building capacity to house the STEM Academy at their site currently and in future years as the program grows.
What is the structure of the academic day? How does this program differ from the program of studies available at our home school?
The daily schedule is not vastly different from the existing schedule and structure at your home elementary school, middle, or high school. The significant difference is the daily, rigorous content and the stringent emphasis on interrelated science and mathematics opportunities. Each day, students engage in mathematics and science activities along with reading and language arts (with a focus on peer collaboration, problem-solving, and application). Technology is infused as appropriate in all areas. Just like all students, STEM students will be scheduled into art, music, PE, and foreign language as appropriate for their grade level.
Will transportation be provided?
Yes, bus transportation will be provided. Students will be transported from hub stops to and from STEM schools each day. Detailed transportation information will not be fully available until students are selected and enrolled into the STEM program. After finalizing the acceptance lists, we will provide you with a transportation plan. Parents may also choose to transport their children to and from the STEM Academy if that is more convenient.
What technology will my child have access to on a regular basis?
The STEM sites will be equipped with state of the art technology including SMART technology, laptop computers, desktops, software provided by Peripheral Vision, and Probeware. All technology, in addition to materials of instruction, will be available for you to preview at the Open House and Information Nights.
What is our family commitment to the STEM Academy?
As long as your child is making satisfactory progress in the STEM Academy, your family commitment is for one school year at a time.
When will the selection of students for STEM be made?
Applications will be accepted until April 17, 2017. Students and their families will be notified in early May. At that point, there will be more information and specific orientation nights, transportation information, opportunities to meet the teacher(s), etc. available to accepted students.
Is Before and After School Daycare available at STEM?
What about school based extracurricular activities such as sports, dances, intramurals, clubs, and civic/service groups?
STEM students may participate in any extracurricular event taking place at Lexington Park Elementary School, Spring Ridge Middle, and Great Mills High.
Will my child’s siblings be able to attend the school as well?
Siblings are welcome to attend any STEM school provided capacity exists at the appropriate grade level.
Are special education students eligible to apply to the STEM program?
Yes, all students are eligible to apply to the STEM Academy.