Middle School STEM

Science – The JASON Project

Founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard, JASON is a nonprofit organization managed by Sea Research Foundation, Inc. and governed by Sea Research and National Geographic Society. The JASON Project connects students with scientists and researchers in real- and near-real time, virtually and physically, to provide mentored, authentic and enriching science learning experiences.

Digital Learning Units

The FCPS goal with this initiative is to transform traditional 8th grade language arts and science classrooms into comprehensive digital learning environments through Project Based Learning. The units include digital tools that enhance the 21st century skills of creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration among students and teachers.

Outdoor School

The FCPS Outdoor School staff provides additional instruction to support the 6th grade water unit. Students experience two full-day field trips and learn about the Frederick County watershed.

Science and Engineering Fair

The Science and Engineering Fair provides opportunities for students inside and outside the classroom to explore STEM Education.

Maryland Science Olympiad

The Maryland Science Olympiad is a "hands-on" K-12 science program including rigorous academic interscholastic tournaments. Scientists and engineers from Maryland corporations, organizations, and universities oversee the 46 teamwork oriented tournament events. Tournament events are well-balanced between biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and technology. This opportunity is provided at select schools for more information please contact your school's STEM Leader.

Future Link

In collaboration with Frederick Community College and Frederick Business Round Table FCPS 7th grade students have the opportunity to participate in a career conference to explore potential STEM careers from current professionals in Information Technology, Biotechnology, Manufacturing, Engineering, Business, Management, and Finance.

Frederick Keys

In partnership with the Frederick Keys 6th grade FCPS students have the opportunity to attend a STEM Day at the Frederick Keys stadium.  Students complete exercises in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math during the course of the game.  Students are able to meet with local businesses in STEM fields and have top science fair projects honored.  This opportunity provides a great educational environment to inspire students towards the fields of STEM Education.

STEM Opportunities

Many schools offer additional opportunities for students such as Math Counts, STEM Fairs, Destination Imagination, Guest Speakers, Lego Education, GPS/Geocaching, STEM Clubs, STEM Nights and Days, STEM Labs, Career Days, Trout in the ClassroomStock Market Game, Robotics Clubs, School Yard Habitat Projects and many others. Please contact your schools STEM Teacher Leader for more information.

Career and Technology Education


SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that trains teachers to teach their students how to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

LAB21 - Grade 6

Learn, Apply, and Build 21st Century Skills (LAB 21) is a 6th grade exploratory course being developed to support transdisciplinary STEM instruction. This course is focused on Project-Based Learning and 21st century skill development in connection with the Elementary level “Project LAB.” The proposed timeline for this course includes seeking Board of Education approval in fall 2013 with full implementation in the 2014-2015 school year.

Invention and Innovation - Grade 7

Invention and Innovation builds on K–5 experiences as well as those in LAB 21 and develops a student's understanding of the scope of technology and the iterative nature of technological design and problem-solving processes. Students participate in engineering design activities to understand how criteria, constraints, and processes affect designs. Students are involved in activities and experiences where they learn about brainstorming, visualizing, modeling, constructing, testing, experimenting, and refining designs. Students also develop skills in researching for information, communicating design information, and reporting results.

Problem Solving - Grade 8

Problem Solving is an elective Technology Education course where students define and solve problems through the use of hands-on application of computers, tools, materials, and processes. Projects integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics to challenge students to be inventive and apply their ingenuity to solve design challenges ranging from straw bridges and hovercraft to Aeronautics and Sea Perch underwater robotics. Problem Solving provides the foundation for future studies. Students learn how Technology, Innovation, Design, and Engineering interrelate and are interdependent. These concepts provide the basis for more focused high school studies.