Our Learning Model
What does STEM look like at the Dayton Regional STEM School? What programs do we offer? How do our students stand out from their peers? Our forward-thinking and student-centered approach to holistic education helps us to achieve student and school-wide success. Check out the pillars of this education model below.
The Dayton Regional STEM School offers unique STEM-based courses, Career Pathways, exciting electives that help students personalize their learning experience based on their interests.
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the teaching method used at the STEM School in which students learn by doing. Rather than listening to instructors lecture course materials, completing worksheets, and taking exams, students at STEM are given a driving question and basic knowledge before exploring content through a real-world project. This model helps create an authentic and engaging learning environment for every student.
The STEM School follows the same standards as other public schools, complete with humanities, the arts, languages, and more. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary, linking courses together to show the connection of content in a real-world setting. We instill 21st century skills and STEM principles, such as technology, in every class. This helps us shape students into global citizens, no matter what they choose to pursue after graduation.
Our five qualities -- Collaboration, Persistence, Inquiry, Communication, and Creativity -- are the proficiencies that help prepare our students for success at STEM and well beyond into their post-secondary and professional careers. We take pride in the rigor and relevance of not just our academic content, but our commitment to these qualities both in and out of the classroom. Students and staff are encouraged to use these qualities each and every day. Click here to view our IDEAL GRADUATE.
Each middle school student takes five required courses in the STEM Foundations series, which is a cornerstone of our unique education model. These STEM-based courses -- STEM Exploration, Digital Exploration, Engineering Exploration, Digital Design, and Engineering Design -- also teach students the basics of PBL, career exploration, professional skills, critique, and so much more.
Students have the opportunity to explore in-demand career fields more deeply through our three Career Pathways in Computer Science, Engineering, and Healthcare. Each student will receive early exposure in required middle school and core high school classes, then can deep dive into these fields through elective courses. Students can even receive industry-recognized credentials and in-house specializations for completing one or more pathways.
Students begin their career and college exploration journey in the 6th grade. All students participate in our annual College and Career Fair, featuring over 50 regional organizations from all industry types. 9th and 10th grade students partake in Job Shadow Day, while upperclassmen complete a 90-hour internship with a mentor of their choosing. Students are also required to complete work-based learning requirements that can be customized to fit their interests, strengths, and goals. This robust exploration program is supported in the classroom and helps students build their resumes and make meaningful and informed decisions in the future.
Did you know the STEM School used to be a shopping plaza? Over the past decade, we've completely repurposed the space into a sprawling high-tech campus with one-of-a-kind facilities, perfectly conducive to student success. The following are just a few highlights you won't see anywhere else!
The Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory (GRILL) is the first Air Force instillation inside a K-12 school in the nation, where AFRL's engineers and computer scientists use modeling and simulation to leverage off-the-shelf gaming software for Air Force training needs. Students frequently partner with the GRILL for projects, career exploration, and after-school programming.
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Photonics (CAMP) helps students learn the science behind industry-grade technology, including 3D printers, laser cutters, and more.
The Vectren Innovation Lab is a flexible project space, perfect for getting hands-on and messy with big projects and equipment, such as soap box derby cars, robotics, and soldering.
For the last 10 days of the school year, every student forgoes their normal class schedule and participates in STEMmersion. This is an exciting opportunity to deep-dive into one STEM topic from a long menu of options created by our teachers. From cross-country adventures to crash courses in aviation, there is something for everyone. This is a time for discovering a love of learning, bonding with peers, using transferable soft-skills, and stepping outside of comfort zones. It's sure to be every student's favorite part of the year!
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