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STEAM Institute

In the STEAM Institute, students are encouraged to pursue their passions and work on projects that fascinate them in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, fostering creativity in projects that demonstrate mastery of STEAM principles.

The STEAM Institute is designed to provide students with a transformative educational experience that extends beyond traditional lectures and exams. Beginning with classroom coursework and group projects in 9th grade, students gradually take on more advanced, collaborative opportunities to innovate and create. Through a series of capstone projects and student-driven research and inventions in 11th and 12th grade, STEAM Institute students learn, grow, and discover, gaining proficiency in STEAM fields such as engineering and biomechanics and developing skills that will serve them well in any industry.


Instruction in the STEAM Institute is designed to enhance problem-solving, grow STEAM knowledge, and help students apply what they learn to practical, hands-on projects. Students in 9th and 10th grade participate in a combination of lecture and active learning opportunities; students in 11th and 12th grade pursue individual guided research on a topic of their choice. Students are encouraged to be productive, self-directed learners, engaged in rigorous, relevant work that demonstrates growth in their selected area of learning while developing resiliency, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Independent Research

STEAM Institute independent research students create an original design or an improvement or enhancement to an existing product. With guidance through independent meetings and tutorship with mentors and STEAM teachers, students hone skills in time management, organization, and data analysis. Research topic selection is student-driven; projects are required to demonstrate understanding of science, math, or engineering principles and creativity is expected and encouraged of all students.

Course Progressions

9th Grade

Introduction to STEAM and Engineering, including:

  • Design and SOLIDWORKS;
  • Electronics, circuits, and components
  • Coding

10th Grade

Biomechanical Engineering and Independent Research Preparation, including:

  • Engineering design process, prosthetics, and biomechanics
  • Coding;
  • Sustainability and environmental engineering

11th and 12th Grades

Independent Research, building skills including:

  • Time management
  • Spreadsheet applications
  • Documentation
  • Data analysis
  • Research progress and presentation
  • Prototype development

Research culminates in a final independent research project.