Poly STEM Academy and High School Receive STEM Certifications

The ASU Preparatory Academy Polytechnic campuses are celebrating their certifications as STEM schools by AdvancEd. AdvancED, the accrediting body, visited the K-8 STEM Academy campus as well as the high school campus to evaluate our teachers and their practices and to visit many of our students and their families. Following the evaluation process, ASU Prep was granted certification as a STEM school. 

ASU Prep has an incredible team of teachers who are dedicated to making our students' learning experiences as meaningful as possible. Our kids are doing amazing things in and out of the classroom every single day. Our new certification is a huge victory for all of ASU Prep - staff, faculty, students, and you. Thank you so much for your continued support.

What is STEM education?

STEM is an acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. More importantly, STEM is an educational philosophy where rigorous academic concepts are combined with authentic and meaningful learning opportunities. This mindset is applied to science, math, English, history, and every other subject area at ASU Prep. Students in a STEM environment are expected to work together to think deeply about the world around them and to solve complex problems. Teachers in a STEM classroom act as guides and facilitators as students set goals, encounter and overcome obstacles, achieve meaningful successes, and reflect on all the facets of their process. In short, the STEM mindset pushes students to learn in a deeper and more meaningful way. 

Why is STEM certification significant for ASU Prep?

At Arizona State University and ASU Prep, we have always been committed to our mission of being an innovative place to teach and to learn. Our recognition as a STEM school validates this mission and ASU's commitment to leadership and innovation in many areas, including education. To date, ASU Prep is one of only 100 schools in the U.S. to be granted STEM certification. ASU Prep is one of only two STEM schools in the state of Arizona.

How did ASU Prep earn STEM certification?

During the AdvancED certification visit, ASU Prep demonstrated at a high level all of the tenets of STEM education, including high expectations for all of our students, students directing their own learning processes, our many partnerships with ASU, and the opportunities that all of our students have to engage in authentic STEM experiences. The certification team based their decision on evidence provided by staff and faculty, direct classroom observations, and interviews with some of our students and their families. AdvancED specifically named their conversations with our students as their strongest deciding factor.

What does this mean for ASU Prep going forward?

ASU Prep was granted STEM certification not for changes we would make in the future but for the STEM philosophy and drive for innovation which have been in place for years. ASU Prep has grown and will continue to grow, not only in number of students, but in the quality and quantity of resources for the schools and their teachers, learning opportunities for students, and a renewed commitment to preparing our students for the next phase of their lives.