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. Our goal is to produce young women with the confidence, passion, persistence, and curiosity to explore the empirical world and to develop innovative habits of mind. Engaging in a problem-based curriculum, students of the Institute will learn to plan research projects, work with others, synthesize new knowledge, generate novel solutions, and communicate effectively about their results. Participants will develop the necessary ethical, analytical, and creative reasoning skills to pursue interests in and to prepare for careers in the STEM disciplines.
The core of the Institute consists of a series of semester-long research apprenticeships that may be taken in sequential order or as stand-alone courses and are intended for both the student with a committed interest in a possible STEM career and the student who is exploring STEM research for the first time. Each course in the 9th and 10th grades teaches a collection of unique skill sets within specific STEM fields that complement the regular scope and sequence of the RPCS math and science programs, and all of the courses employ differentiated instruction to meet the academic needs of students with prior STEM experience as well as those of the novice researcher. While graduates of the Institute will be expected to take all four semesters during 9th and 10th grades and develop a final portfolio of major work completed (see “STEM Portfolio Requirements”), the units and semesters remain autonomous, and any student may take any one (or more) of the semester courses on a Pass/Fail basis. In the 11th Grade Research Internship Program, each full–time student of the Institute will be expected to complete a research project of her own choosing, with a focus on a single STEM discipline and topic.