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STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

Goals of Chadwick STEM

Chadwick's STEM program is a K-12 initiative that aims to inspire future STEM leaders, educate citizens for a STEM-based world and prepare students for success in college and beyond.

Our STEM classes and activities connect ideas between disciplines, connect the classroom to the wider world, develop the skills for independent problem-solving and use technology to teach students to communicate fluently.

The STEM program aims to encourage and develop the core competencies (critical and creative thinking; cultural competence; communication; collaboration; character; and courage) in cross-curricular and hands-on ways. Through team competitions, as well as internships, mentorships and guest speakers, Chadwick STEM students are situated to develop the real-world skills they will need to think, do and lead in an increasingly global and technological marketplace.

Here are frequently asked questions about the Chadwick STEM program.

STEM in the Village School

STEM in the Village begins in kindergarten classes, with hands-on science and plenty of math, as well as the basics of coding, keyboarding and robotics. This foundational knowledge is underscored throughout our students' education as their mathematical, scientific and logical thinking progresses. STEM students in the Village are encouraged to think creatively and cross-curricularly, and special emphasis is placed on helping students make connections between the academic skills they are building and the real-world ways they can apply it.

In addition to an engaging and powerful curriculum in math and science, Village students have opportunities such as:

  1. Bee-bots in Kindergarten (teaches programming)
  2. Dash and Dot Robots in Third Grade (further programming knowledge, teaches students to work with apps)
  3. Third through Eighth Grade 1-to-1 iPad use (increases technical proficiency)
  4. Curricular integration of the Makerspace
  5. Sixth Grade has an every-other-week Makerspace time
  6. Sixth grade has Passion Project on Friday
  7. Integrating Systems into Humanities (w/ Biological Systems)
STEM in the Middle School

In the Middle School, STEM is a graduation requirement. Middle School students' science and math classes not only prepare them for traditional Upper School academic work, but also include interdisciplinary skills such as coding and engineering. Seventh- and eighth-graders choose between STEM electives, including web design, electronics and other project-based and experimental options. Whether their interests focus on the biological sciences, chemistry, space science, engineering or coding, the Middle School electives and team offerings meet the needs of each individual student.


MS Web Coding Lab
Students are using the Processing JS language to learn control flow, object-oriented principles and debugging techniques. By the end of the trimester, students are able to implement their own game and deploy it to the web.

MS Electronics Lab
Students learn about circuits, programming and debugging techniques through the Arduino interface. By the end of the trimester, students are able to combine their knowledge of physical technical components with programming skills to define their own projects.

MS Coding Club
Students learn a variety of programming languages to get a solid understanding of computer science concepts. Students then design and implement their own web or mobile app utilizing real-world programming processes and tools.

In this elective, students will grow crops in self-sustained 3D-printed pods. Students will code an app to monitor their crops’ health and to communicate with other students what care needs to be given and what chores have been done.

This elective will challenge students to come up with novel ratios of metallic alloys to attempt to split water molecules. Students will present their work at a Caltech conference at the end of the spring semester.

Teams and Clubs

  1. VEX Robotics
  2. Math Club
  3. Technovation
  4. Rube Goldberg Santa Monica Pier STEAM Competition
STEM in the Upper School

In the Upper School, the STEM program increases both in academic content and in connectivity across curricula and communities. Chadwick science students take high-school physics, chemistry and biology in an integrated way that covers all three curricula by the end of 10th grade. The integrated approach helps students make cross-curricular connections, while the core content provides the foundation for AP and inter-disciplinary courses in grades 11 and 12. Those courses are listed below, including online "MSON" opportunities beyond the traditional classroom.

Almost all Chadwick math students complete Calculus by the end of senior year, providing a strong foundation for STEM majors in college and beyond. Alternative paths are available for students who prefer to go faster or slower, including AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC and post-AP Multivariable Calculus. Our math program emphasizes problem-solving, based on both procedural fluency and conceptual understanding. Students learn to think independently and to solve problems without following a recipe.

Beyond the classroom, Chadwick students connect with other STEM enthusiasts through math, science and engineering clubs and teams. They also have the opportunity to engage in the broader STEM community through mentors or internships, with the guidance of our STEM coordinator.

STEM AP Courses:

  1. AP Biology
  2. AP Chemistry
  3. AP Physics 1
  4. AP Physics C
  5. AP Environmental Science
  6. AP Computer Science
  7. AP Calculus AB
  8. AP Calculus BC
  9. AP Statistics

STEM Electives: Student interest determines which electives will run each year.

  1. Marine Biology
  2. Forensics
  3. Astrophysics
  4. Brain and Behavior
  5. Computer Graphics
  6. Robotics Engineering
  7. STEM research
  8. MSON offerings such as Multivariable Calculus, Modern Physics, Scientific Etymology, Post-AP Advanced Programming


  1. VEX Robotics
  2. Science Olympiad
  3. Technovation
  4. TARC Rocketry
  5. L.A. County Science Fair


  1. LIGO at Caltech
  2. Space Radiation Lab at Caltech
  3. USC ISI
  4. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  5. USC's Keck School of Medicine

 Student Publications:

  1. "Analysis of Candida albicans Biofilm Mechanisms Causing Antifungal Drug Resistance" (unpublished) — Harini Shah
  2. "Comparing Different Plate Types for Identifying CRE" — Maddie Davis

Dr. Megan McEwen
STEM Coordinator
(310) 377-1543

Dr. Tyson Sacco
Science Department

Kimberly Tatman
Math Department

Looking for
Chadwick International?
Chadwick also operates this PK-12 school in
Songdo, South Korea.
Click here to learn more.

Chadwick School is a private, K-12 co-educational school dedicated to developing global citizens with keen minds, exemplary character, self-knowledge and the ability to lead. Located on a 45-acre hilltop on the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula, we aim to bring out the best in our students through experiential learning, one-on-one mentoring, unparalleled global opportunities, an outstanding athletics program, highly accredited outdoor education experiences and an award-winning visual and performing arts program. We are pleased that more than 800 students from over 45 Southern California communities have chosen to call Chadwick "home."

Chadwick School / 26800 South Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, 90274 / 310-377-1543
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