Engineering Change

By Communication and Community Relations
January 24, 2017

Building a living wall to grow crops indoors using an aquaponics system and designing microscopes to find pathogens – not your typical classroom activities. And, the Global Stem Challenges Program at Edison High School isn’t your typical classroom.

The Global STEM Challenges Program is funded in part through a Virginia Department of Education High School Program Innovation Planning Grant.

Students enrolled in the three year program are part of a smaller learning community within Edison High School. Students meet for three-period blocks every other day. Teachers work closely with small groups and individuals to meet students’ academic needs and to provide a rigorous and relevant learning environment.

The program integrates science, math, technology, and engineering. Instead of focusing on how students test in each of these areas, students work together to apply their learning as a measure of success. In the case of the microscopes, students used physics and geometry to help in their designs. The program breaks down silos of learning and helps to show students that what they are learning can be applied in the real world.

All of the students’ work is connected to the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges. Some of the world’s leading engineering experts have classified the Grand Challenges as obstacles that our next generation must overcome to improve the quality of life on Earth.

With successful completion of the program, twelfth grade students will be able to choose advanced coursework in specific fields or pursue an IB diploma.

A new group of students will begin the program in the 2017-18 school year.

For more information please contact:

Sal Olivo

Edison Academy Administrator



Scott Settar

STEAM Integration Program Manager