At Westridge, STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that joins academically-challenging concepts with real-world lessons.
Here, girls apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in frameworks that make connections between school, community, careers, and the global economy. With STEM skills, young women can make a big contribution to many of the challenges facing society today.
I approach learning in a holistic, connected way, focusing on how all the subjects relate to each other.
— Rob Greene,
8th Grade Science Teacher
Here are some of the ways we promote STEM in and out of the classroom:
Our curriculum in both the Middle and Upper School offers a variety of computer science courses for students' benefit. 7th and 8th graders explore computer science throughout their time in Middle School with fun, project-based courses that focus on allowing girls to make personal and meaningful connections to computing by drawing upon creativity, imagination and individual interests. Westridge girls learn to code in three different programs, build and program robots, and explore engineering concepts in a series of hands-on challenges. Middle School students also have the opportunity to continue building design and coding skills through the Coding & Game Design elective, a course that teaches girls to create original interactive games based on their unique interests. Learn more about our Middle School curriculum here.
Upper School computer science courses include two advanced placement options: AP Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles. These classes provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of computer science, including problem solving, working with data, the Internet, cybersecurity and programming. Learn more about our Upper School curriculum here.
Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. In 2017, Westridge science teacher Edye Udell formed a Westridge Girls Who Code Club that meets weekly on campus, providing an empowering space for girls to learn computer programming languages, fundamental elements of web development and UX, and more. The Westridge Girls Who Code club joins the hundreds of other clubs across the country inspiring more than 40,000 total participants to see a future in computer science and engineering, and creating supportive environments for them to thrive.
Beginning in 4th grade, Westridge girls enjoy the hands-on experience of designing, constructing, and programming their own robots. Our teachers use robotics to demonstrate the practical application of mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering. As one teacher said, "Robots are great teachers because they give students immediate feedback."
In addition to promoting logical thinking, mathematical and problem-solving skills, robotics can encourage creativity and teamwork. Our projects are designed to be open-ended so girls have to use their imaginations, take risks, and work together in teams. This group work encourages teamwork, cooperation and group problem-solving skills. The culminating unit in 6th grade is a math-science-technology interdisciplinary robotics unit. Learn more about our Lower School curriculum here.