STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but it is more than an acronym. STEM is vitally important for the nation’s economy, prosperity, health, security, and welfare of its citizens. STEM learning develops 21st century skills, such as collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, engineering design, and the use of technology and digital media.

STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that incorporates the application of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and other disciplines to real-world problems utilizing problem-based/project-based learning. This approach engages and motivates students to learn, so that they will be prepared for the challenges and demands of a highly technological society.


 Although one of the goals of the STEM Department is to bring STEM ideas and skills to ALL students, we recognize that there may be students who are interested in challenging themselves and developing their STEM skills further. In 2015, Mrs. Ophelia Barizo created the STEM Certificate Program here at Highland View Academy.

The Mission of the STEM Certificate Program is to prepare our students for college and beyond, by offering a program that will educate and inspire students to be able to be technologically literate, innovative, problem-solvers, and be logical thinkers, so that they may be able to make a difference in this global society.
We are very proud that our STEM department as well as our program became nationally certified in 2019 by the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE)

All incoming freshmen each school year will be enrolled in a first-year science course called Integrated STEM during their Fall semester.

At the end of the Fall semester, freshmen who are interested in the STEM Certificate Program should contact the STEM Coordinator. Those freshmen who have a current minimum grade of B in their math (Algebra I or higher), science (Integrated STEM), and computer courses and a current minimum GPA of 3.00 will be invited to have a personal interview with the STEM Department to discuss their desire to join the program as well as the program requirements.

The STEM Department will then determine acceptance. Upon acceptance, freshman students will be transferred into the STEM Certificate Program for the Spring semester. Due to the specific requirements of our STEM Certificate Program, students may only enter the program during the Spring semester of their freshman year.

STEM Certificate students are expected to complete the following requirements:
   ● Core requirements for the College Preparatory Diploma (see Diploma Programs in Handbook)*
   ● Four mathematics courses, four science courses, and one computer course during their academy years
(9 credits)*
   ● STEM Project-Based Learning I and STEM Project-Based Learning II courses (1.0 credit)*
   ● STEM electives offered at HVA or an approved alternative (1.0-1.5 credits)*
   ● Visual arts/graphic design course offered at HVA or an approved alternative (0.25 – 0.50 credit)*
   ● Pre-approved 80-hour internship in a STEM-related area.
   ● 20 hours of STEM-centered community service. These hours can count as part of the community
service hours required for graduation.
*minimum grade and GPA requirements, see the
Program Retention section

Students will be able to remain enrolled in the STEM Certificate Program by completing the previously mentioned curriculum requirements, maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 as required by the College Preparatory Diploma, and maintaining a minimum grade of a B in every STEM course each semester, which includes mathematics, science, computers, and electives. Student records are reviewed by the STEM Department throughout the school year. GPA and grade requirements are verified at the end of each semester.

STEM Certificate Program students and their families will be responsible for a $250 fee each school year they are enrolled in the program. Scholarships may be available. Please speak with the STEM Coordinator for more details.

STEM Certificate Program students will receive a laptop, charger, and carrying case for their use each year. Students and their families will be required to sign a usage agreement prior to the laptop being issued. It is expected that these materials are brought to school every day, treated respectfully and maintained in proper working order, and are turned in when requested.

STEM Certificate Program students will be given the opportunity to participate in STEM-specific elective courses, field trips, and a variety of other activities. Upon completion of the STEM Certificate Program, graduating students will receive a high school STEM Certificate and a special STEM medallion.

Updated in June 2021. The STEM Department reserves the right to make any changes as needed.

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10100 Academy Dr | Hagerstown, MD 21740-1800 | Call: 301-739-8480 | Fax: 301-576-7794