Upper School

The STEM Institute

Director's Message

At RPCS, we are committed to preparing our girls and young women for the future they will live in, not the present
they inhabit now. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that in the coming century, 80 percent of all non-service
industry jobs will require some degree of formal training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM). Through STEM-dedicated educational opportunities (as well as our regular curricular sequence),
RPCS builds on the innate curiosity in all of our students and their desire for challenge to lead in tomorrow’s
workforce.
 
The program is focused on developing in our students a core set of “common habits of mind” that will make each of
them effective problem solvers—the foundation of every STEM field. Employing an interdisciplinary approach in all of
our STEM opportunities, we provide the girls and young women at RPCS with the cross-disciplinary skills they will
need to pursue whatever future they desire, and in so doing, we seek deliberately to play our role in the larger mission
of the school.
 
Where else can you find a school within a school? The STEM Institute at Roland Park Country School. Only at RPCS.
 
David L. Brock
Director, The STEM Institute at Roland Park Country School

Program Description

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 4 semesters during 9th & 10th grade, the year-long 11th Grade STEM Internship, and develop a final portfolio of major work completed, the units and semesters in 9th and 10th grade remain autonomous, and any student may take any one (or more) of the semester courses on a Pass/Fail basis.  However, any student who fails to make adequate progress will not be permitted to continue in the Institute.
 

Summer Work/Internships

  • 2015-2016 school year: one internship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center; one internship at Hopkins’ Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2015: actual summer job at Kaufmann Products (internship turned into employment)
  • 2015: two summer internships in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Brain Science Institute (one in the Department of Neuroscience; one in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)
  • 2015: one summer internship at the State of Maryland Public Health Laboratory
  • 2015: one summer internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (continuing into & throughout the 2015-2016 school year)
  • 2014-2015 school year: one internship at the Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2014: two participants in The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program
  • 2014: two summer internships at Kaufman Products (a concrete engineering firm)
  • 2013: one summer participant in National Geographic Expedition in Iceland
Older ones pre-STEM Institute but directly linked to our specific STEM efforts (ESSRE, etc.):  MITRE’s Nanosystems Group, Johns Hopkins Space Telescope Science Institute

Presentations/Publications/Competitions

  • 2015 Meredith Kuser earned 4th place at the Maryland Junior Science & Humanities Symposium; 2 research posters accepted to it.  Meredith went to the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium as a result.
  • 2015 an MS team in the STEM 8 program won first place in the State of Maryland for the eCYBERMISSION competition
  • 2015 two Honorable Mention teams for the Toshiba ExploraVision Contest
  • 2014 Meredith Kuser has been officially listed as a co-author of the paper prepared based on the research she participated in in the Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program; the paper has been submitted for peer-review, and we’ll eventually hear from Dr. Emiliano about its status.
  • 2014 one research paper accepted to the Maryland Junior Science & Humanities Symposium; 2 research posters accepted
  • 2014 three Honorable Mention teams for the Toshiba ExploraVision Contest
  • 2013 one finalist in the research paper category, the Maryland Junior Science & Humanities Symposium
  • 2013 finalist team (1 of 8 nationally) for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge
  • 2013 four Honorable Mention teams for the Toshiba ExploraVision contest

Scholarships Directly Related to our STEM Efforts

  • 1 Ethyl and Albemarle Science Scholar, University of Richmond
  • 2 Meyerhoff Scholars, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • 1 National Science Foundation's STEP program, Dickinson College