Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to design solutions to complex problems.

S.T.E.A.M. Coordinator
Cathie Bischoff

Our vision: to inspire, engage, and empower a community that fosters innovation, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving within and across the curriculum and co-curriculum.


  • To provide unique learning experiences through collaboration.
  • To inspire creative, critical, and analytical thinking.
  • To inspire an appreciation for and the imagination needed to design, create, and utilize advanced technologies.
  • To develop leaders who support one another through collaboration.
  • To provide professional learning and resources for educators.

S.T.E.A.M. in Action

S.T.E.A.M. in the Curriculum

paragraph about coordinating faculty and tracking interdisciplinary projects throughout the curriculum


Seventh and eighth grade students have the opportunity to participate in an annual service learning trip to Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA. Heifer International is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. Heifer Farm is a working farm that hosts overnight educational programs that combine team building with experiential learning and service activities. The trip is focused on three core components: experiential activities designed to increase the group’s understanding of the global hunger and poverty issues; hands-on service projects around the farm including gardening, maintenance, and livestock chores; and understanding how Heifer’s model produces lasting change in communities around the world while planning for taking social action when the group returns home.


Women in Science Club (WISC), is a student led club in the Upper School that strives to advocate for equal education, exposure, opportunity, and recognition for women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The unfortunate reality of the science world today is that there is an underrepresentation and lack of recognition for women and minorities in these fields. WISC is working to spread awareness of the gender deficiency that exists in the STEM field. Some of these deficiencies take root in the decreased number of females in Advanced Placement science courses. This is the case both nationally and at RCDS.

The Women in Science Enrichment (WISE) After School Program, which is free of charge, is designed to expose middle school girls to the fascinating world of science through intriguing experiments. The entire program, which will meet once a week from 3:30pm-5pm, will be led by members of the upper school Women in Science Club and a rotation of science department faculty. The experiments, which will be created with the help of faculty, will each target a different field within STEM, such as cosmetic chemistry, DNA fingerprinting using gel electrophoresis, DNA extraction, muscle physiology using electromyograms (EMGs), topics in neuroscience, etc. Each of these experiments will help to ignite the spark for girls in STEM.

Institute Fellowship: Building Participation, Performance, and Confidence in S.T.E.A.M.

The SET (Saturday Enrichment and Tutorial) program is a tuition-free, academic enrichment program whose goal is to improve English literacy skills for 1st-4th grade students. SET is designed to give local public school students extra support during the school year to improve their reading and writing skills. SET classes are taught by a team of trained RCDS Upper School student mentors who use curriculum developed by Lower School faculty members. In addition, SET offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) program for parents at the same time as the student program. The ESL program is taught be a team of RCDS faculty, staff, parents, and students, and is also offered at no charge. In addition to learning ESL, the adult participants also learn how they can support their children’s literacy skills at home.

Institute Fellowship: Makerspace Apprenticeship Program

The new Cohen Center for the Creative Arts will feature an innovative design MakerSpace. A creativity lab for projects that encompass RCDS’s commitment to STEAM and design thinking.


The SCOPE (Student-Centered Outreach, Partnership, and Enrichment) program is an after-school academic enrichment program that fosters literacy skills, critical thinking, and self-expression in 4th and 5th grade students. Trained RCDS Upper School volunteers teach all SCOPE classes. Fourth graders use a variety of strategies to analyze a written text, support responses with textual evidence, and write to express their ideas. Fifth graders explore the topic of civil rights while engaging with a wide variety of texts, including short biographies, poetry, and primary documents. The SCOPE curriculum is supplemented by enrichment activities including poetry, visual arts, music, movement, STEM, and journalism.


SiSTEM (Students in STEM) is a tuition-free after-school academic enrichment program focused on developing participants’ skills and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. RCDS Upper School student volunteers teach fifth grade students from local public schools through engaging hands-on activities designed to spark curiosity and excitement.

S.T.E.A.M. News

James Chen '19 Published in Peer Reviewed Medical Journal

The Journal of Cardiac Failure, a peer reviewed medical journal, recently published an article co-authored by James Chen '19. The article, "Pre-transplant Proteinuria is a Risk Factor for Worsening Renal Function in Heart Transplant Candidates," grew out of James's work in his Grade 11 Science Research class at RCDS, which he continued throughout the summer.