STEM in Middle School

As a part of new innovations and enhancements in the Middle School, Westminster now offers a STEM course in the Middle School. The course, required for all middle school students, takes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to science, technology, engineering, and math. All of these disciplines are applied during the planning processes of each of the course’s four project-based units, in which students are assigned to construct a rocket, a CO2 dragster, an under-water robot, and a cardboard chair (with no adhesives) sturdy enough to support an adult.

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This course develops key 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, and problem solving. Head of Middle School Steve Hall says the difference between this STEM course and a regular science course is that it focuses heavily on the application of integrated science and math.

“From a global perspective, math and science are not among Americans’ greatest strengths; the U.S. is simply not producing the world’s mathematicians and scientists,” says Hall. “As a Christian school whose mission it is to produce young men and women equipped to change the world, it is our job to jump into the gap – to fill this void. We want to prove to middle school students that science and math are not scary,” he says. “We hope that it, in turn, encourages students to think about a more focused approach to STEM when they get to high school.”

Hall says that while there are other middle schools in the area that do offer a STEM course, most do not require it, and most are “pre-packaged” curricula. He says, “Westminster’s middle school STEM course has been specially designed by our teachers so that students are able to draw connections between STEM principles and what they are learning in their other classes.”