St. Albert the Great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program

The St. Albert the Great Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program provides the opportunity for academically gifted students in grades fifth through eighth to participate in advanced courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. This three or four-year rigorous program of study requires a high level of academic discipline as well as an appropriate maturity on the part of the student. It also requires consistent parental support in order for the student to be successful. Students should be productive during class time and should also complete at least 30 minutes of work each night for each class. Parents should actively monitor student progress and help the students to maintain an acceptable pace in their work. When working through the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), parents and students should understand that the online courses are designed to be self-paced. However, Aquinas has a special working agreement with CTY, and Aquinas students are expected to complete all courses within a regular academic year. If there is a discrepancy in communication, preference should be given to the deadlines, expectations, and/or directives given by Aquinas.

Key Elements and Co-Curricular Activities

  • Online learning in conjunction with the CTY for fifth-grade math, earth, life, physical science
  • An advanced math track enabling students to enroll in geometry in eighth grade
  • A bi-weekly lab with a Johns Hopkins instructor at Aquinas in sixth and seventh grade
  • A robotics course using the Lego-Mindstorm platform
  • A STEM specific field trip during the school year

Course Offerings

  • Honors Math – 1st Semester (online)
  • Chapters 1-7 in Pre-Algebra – 2nd Semester (online)

  • Algebra
  • CTY Physical Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (1st semester)
  • Robotics

  • Pre-Algebra
  • CTY Earth Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (1st Semester)
  • CTY Life Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (2nd Semester)

  • Geometry
  • Robotics

STEM Program Dates

May 3, 2022 – Information Night at Aquinas

May 6, 2022 – STEM applications are due

June 1, 2022 – SCAT scores are due to Aquinas

June 24, 2022 – Final report cards and any additional testing information due (for non-Aquinas students)

Mid-June – Admissions decisions made

June 30, 2022 – Enrollment forms and fee due

To apply for STEM students must meet the criteria and complete and submit all required documentation by May 6, 2022.  Required materials include an application, student questionnaire, SCAT scores, and student recommendation form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Admission decisions will made in June and parents will be notified by mail.

Students currently enrolled in the STEM program will be re-evaluated each year by the STEM teacher to ensure that students have met the requirements for the previous year.  If a student has not met the requirements, a meeting will be set up between the Principal, the STEM teacher, the parents, and the students to determine a course of action for the next school year.

Below are the required application forms and the recommended study guide for taking the STEM placement test.

Specific questions regarding the STEM program can be emailed to Mrs. Mendell, STEM Teacher, at jmendell@aquinastars.org.

SCAT (and Advanced SCAT) – The School and College Ability Test (SCAT) is a CTY assessment used for admissions to their online and summer programs. Since students in the STEM program also participate in CTY online courses, they are required to take the SCAT through CTY. For enrollment in the STEM program, students must have a score on the quantitative section that makes them eligible to participate in “summer programs”. Parents are responsible for registering for individual testing at a testing center and sending a copy of the score report to Aquinas by the date required as indicated on the Program Calendar in the STEM Information packet. Our registered school name with CTY is St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School. Our school code is: 2219160. Please see their website for more information about the test, testing registration and locations, as well as practice tests.

Algebra and Geometry Exemption Exams – At the end of seventh grade, students will take the Algebra Exemption Exam at one of the diocesan high schools. The successful completion of the exemption exams is necessary in order for students to receive high school credit at the diocesan Catholic high school.  STEM students who do not pass the Algebra Exemption Exam in seventh grade must repeat Algebra the following year or successfully complete an intensive algebra course offered by a high school over the summer. At the end of eighth grade, students will take the Geometry Exemption Exam at a diocesan high school. The successful completion of the exemption exams is necessary in order for students to receive high school credit at the diocesan Catholic high schools.


Admission Requirements

Fifth grade is an introductory year providing the foundation for the accelerated math curriculum in the years to come.  Participation in the STEM program is highly recommended and provides the student and parents the ability to assess a given student’s aptitude for the STEM program before engaging in the rigor of the middle school program.

  • Attend the parent information night
  • Complete and submit the STEM application and all requirements to the school office
  • Submit a teacher recommendation form to the students current math teacher
  • Register to take the SCAT test through CTY
  • Maintain at least a 93% in math
  • Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
  • Qualify for “summer programs” on the quantitative section of the SCAT administered by CTY
  • Have a positive teacher recommendation

• Maintain at least a 93% in math
• Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
• Qualify for “summer programs” on the quantitative section of the SCAT administered by CTY
• Have a positive teacher recommendation

  • Maintain at least an 80% average in the STEM math course and successfully complete the course
  • Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
  • Achieve an 80% or above on the diocesan pre-algebra placement exam
  • Have a positive teacher recommendation

  • Maintain a 93% average in math courses
  • Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
  • Qualify for “summer programs” on the quantitative section of the SCAT administered by CTY
  • Achieve an 80% or above on the diocesan pre-algebra math placement exam
  • Have a positive teacher recommendation

The STEM program is designed as a progressive curriculum with a substantial portion of the diocesan curriculum requirements being covered in sixth grade.   Students who have successfully completed (90 or better) Pre-Algebra in 6th grade and who have received a qualifying score on the SCAT test may be considered for special enrollment.  Since each student’s situation is unique it is best to email the STEM Teacher, Mrs. Giesey at tgiesey@aquinastars.org for a determination.

The STEM program is designed as a progressive curriculum with a substantial portion of the diocesan curriculum requirements being covered in sixth grade.   Students who have successfully completed (90 or better) Pre-Algebra in 6th grade and Algebra in 7th  and who receive a 90 or better on the Diocesan Algebra Exemption Exam given in June 2019 may be considered for special enrollment.  Since each student’s situation is unique it is best to email the STEM Teacher, Mrs. Giesey at tgiesey@aquinastars.org for a determination.


Admission Process

  • Register to take the SCAT test through CTY
  • Complete and submit the STEM program application to the school office
  • Submit a teacher recommendation form to the student’s current math teacher
  • Admission is determined according to the qualifications listed under Admission Requirements

Fifth Grade is an introductory year providing the foundation for the accelerated math curriculum in the years to come. Participation in the STEM program is highly recommended by the school. The fifth grade year provides the school, student, and parent the ability to assess a given student’s aptitude for the STEM program. Students enrolled in the STEM program in fifth grade must re-apply for admission to continue with the middle school STEM program.

  • Complete and submit the STEM application to the school office
  • Submit a teacher recommendation form to the student’s current math teacher
  • Admission is determined according to the qualifications listed under Admission Requirements

Enrollment/Re-Enrollment

After the admissions process is completed, parents will receive notification of admission decisions regarding the STEM program along with an enrollment form and fee. Parents should complete and return the enrollment form by the due date.

 

After receiving the enrollment packet, parents should complete and return the enrollment form.

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St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School
13750 Mary's Way
Woodbridge, VA 22191


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St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School admits students of any race, color, and national origin.