2016 STEM designated schools

Ohio’s network of STEM schools has grown by leaps and bounds since beginning as four schools in 2008. Today, we are a coalition of 31 schools providing innovative educational experiences to prepare students for college, the workplace, and beyond.

160606 STEM Designation graphicThat family just got a bit bigger. The Ohio STEM Committee, a council of state-appointed policymakers, agency directors and business leaders, met on Monday, June 6th to review applications for membership. The committee considered applications from nine schools for its official STEM designation.

The committee approved six schools: DECA Prep, DECA High School, St. Gabriel School, Mad River Middle School, Springfield High School, St. Vincent de Paul Parish School. Linden McKinley STEM Academy also received approval, with conditions.

Oak Leadership STEM-M School and St. Bernard were not awarded designation, but were given suggestions on how they can improve their application for next year.

To ring in newest members of OSLN, here’s a short description of each school.


Dayton Early College Academy Prep is a K-6 school serving students in Dayton, Ohio. DECA was designed to immerse prospective first-generation college students in a personalized and rigorous elementary curriculum. Their mission at both the elementary and high school is instilling the college mindset. “We go to college” is DECA’s mindset and mission, ensuring students’ success in college and beyond. 2015-16 was the first academic year that DECA was at full working capacity, pushing college readiness from Kindergarten through graduation.

DECA High School

DECA High School was founded in 2003, singularly focused on preparing first-generation urban students to go to college. It has expanded dramatically since its small beginnings, now serving elementary students at DECA Prep and offering robust opportunities for students through numerous local partnerships. Nearly 100% of their graduates go on to pursue higher education. Students have earned over 5,000 college credit hours, $7.6 million in scholarships and grants, and 30,340 hours of volunteer service while pursuing a challenging high school curriculum.

St. Gabriel School

St. Gabriel School in Concord, Ohio is another private school being awarded STEM designation this year. St. Gabriel offers PreK-8 education with a STEM emphasis, and often brings in community professionals work with students in the classroom. The school blog shows classroom experiences from cooking apples in solar ovens to guest chemical engineering presentations from actual scientists.

Linden McKinley

Linden McKinley STEM Academy focuses on educating high school students through the Design Cycle. After identifying a problem, students must Brainstorm, Design a solution, Test, Modify, and Share their solution. Through this process, students are expected to rise to the challenge of mastery learning in the STEM environment.  Linden McKinley aspires for academic focus through the integration of real-world applications and a commitment to challenge each and every student to discover their own potential and persevere toward personal greatness.

Mad River Middle School

Located in Riverside, the Mad River school district incorporates STEM into their curriculum from kindergarten to graduation. They offer opportunities running the gamut from their STEM Guitar Project, recognized in the Ohio School Board Association Magazine, to STEM Summer camp, held at Stebbins High School. Students at Mad River Middle recently competed in the state SkillsUSA competition, taking home awards in technical math, speech, and engineering design. With a STEM designation, Mad River aims to provide and align educational systems to ensure sufficient intellectual, entrepreneurial, and technical talent building for the region’s economic needs.

Springfield High School

Springfield High School is an urban comprehensive high school located in Southwest Ohio, 45 miles west of Columbus and 25 miles northeast of Dayton. After merging North and South high schools in 2008, it began to offer personalized education tracks, catering to individual students’ interests. The five academies are called Preparatory, Heath and Human Services, International Arts and Connections, Exploratory, and of course STEM.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish School

The oldest Roman-Catholic school in Akron, Ohio serves students from PreK to eighth grade. They offer STEM education, with the addition of Stewardship and Medicine, and implement Project-Based Learning throughout their curriculum. They are a 1:1 iPad school, bringing together students from 13 local school districts in pursuit of the school’s vision: to develop independent, collaborative, and generous young learners who help to create a better world through global respect and understanding, with real-world application and problem-solving strategies, while keeping Christ in the mind, body, and heart.

Help us welcome these new schools with a comment or tweet to @OSLN.

If you know a school that’s ready to make the switch to STEM, contact us or reach out to your local Ohio STEM Learning Network Hub.

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