Goals of the Program
1. To expose students to a variety of STEM fields and demonstrate the inter-relatedness of science, technology, engineering, and math.
2. To gain functional knowledge in all areas of STEM and sustain interest in future STEM-based pursuits.
3. To gain fluency in a computer science language in order to learn different problem solving algorithms and to improve analytical thinking and problem solving.
4. To promote STEM related literacy, whether or not they pursue STEM-related fields in the future.
5. To develop creativity and design thinking skills.
1. Academic coursework
In addition to the general graduation requirements set forth by the Upper School, students must complete the following courses with a minimum grade of a B :
• Introduction to Computer Programming
• Advanced and/or AP Computer Science
• AP Calculus AB
• Two of the following: AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Biology
Students must earn at least 500 points to receive the certificate at graduation. Enrolling in classes, participating in clubs and activities related to STEM-based initiatives, and attending outside field-related seminars all count toward this goal. Among the points earned for completing certain elective activities, there are two required elements: reading a STEM related book during the summer and then attending a seminar in the fall to discuss the reading, and writing a one page reflection on the book; and the completion of a capstone research project during senior year.
2. Extracurricular activities
Participating in the following clubs and activities count toward the STEM distinction:
3. summer reading
Each year, the STEM co-chairs will confer on a STEM related book for all distinction candidates to read during the summer. Students will then attend a seminar in the fall to discuss the reading and write a one-page reflection on the book.
2021: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot OR Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math byJeannine Atkins
2020: Virals by Kathy Reichs
2019: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
4. capstone research project
Summer Between Junior and Senior Year
2023 STEM Distinction Capstone Projects
Science Department Chair, Upper School Chemistry, STEM Program Co-Coordinator, Robotics, Honor Council Advisor
Morris Award 2016
4254 Colonial Avenue
Roanoke, Virginia 24018
540-989-6641 • (540) 989-7299 (FAX)
HOURS: M-F; 8AM-4PM
North Cross School is an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school founded in 1944 and governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.
All contact information listed on this website is for official North Cross School business only. North Cross School does not accept unsolicited advertisements sent to school email addresses, phone numbers, or fax numbers listed on this site.
North Cross School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid or employment policies, or any other programs administered by the School. For more information, read our Inclusivity Statement.
North Cross is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. North Cross School's Junior Kindergarten is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools who is recognized by the Board of Education pursuant to §22.1-19 of the Code of Virginia authorizes the Virginia Council for Private Education to accredit private nursery, preschool, elementary and secondary schools in Virginia.
North Cross is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling, The Cum Laude Society and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.