STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons; students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)
The Academy of the Holy Cross embraces the role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics plays in our students’ education. As new and emerging technologies make vast amounts of information available, there is a need for creating open learning environments that can engage learners in active, intentional, and cooperative learning.
"Improving the access to and quality of STEM education for girls is the key to increasing equality and a competitive edge is one of the most important business sectors for the future."
-Jason Wingard, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, Columbia University
Students who study science can make informed decisions, are able to ask thoughtful questions, and can clearly communicate those questions and findings to those around them. Holy Cross Students come in contact with multiple science experiences that nurture and foster an increased curiosity and understanding of what they observe and investigate. They advance their ability to offer reasonable explanations, make predictions, and learn to respect nature and their environment. Science strengthens the skills they need to think effectively, objectively, and creatively.
The Academy strongly believes integration of technology into our existing curriculum is a vital component for student achievement. Our commitment to technology ensures that all students are proficient in digital literacy. To cultivate and support effective information users, the Technology Department collaborates with students and faculty in an inquiry-based environment providing resources, strategies, and tools so that everyone will have the necessary skills to locate, evaluate, and integrate information.
Our 1:1 iPad Program provides tools that answer the need for utilizing technology in all aspects of the learning cycle. Through this program, we help our students develop not only technological skills, but also an appreciation for digital citizenship. Teachers and students create an environment of ingenuity and collaboration to enhance the learning process and support multiple learning styles.
Our Student Technology Center includes a computer lab, design technology classroom with a 3-D printer and 3-D pens, and a collaborative tech area for student use.
The Student Tech Team serves as technology leaders in the school producing "how-to" guides, organizing and managing an iPad help desk and maintaining social media guidelines for their peers.
Project Lead the Way empowers students to step into the role of an engineer and adapt a problem-solving mindset. The program engages students in collaborative, real-world activities As students work together to design and develop solutions to local and global challenges, they engage in problem-solving strategies and critical and creative thinking. Our Engineering classroom is designed to be flexible, adaptable, and mobile to accommodate the learning environment. The Academy offers Introduction to Engineering and Principals of Engineering.
Girls who pass the year-end exam will earn three college credits from Rochester Institute of Technology for each PLTW course.
Holy Cross is committed to providing a curriculum in mathematics enabling each girl to attain success at her highest potential level of achievement by offering a variety of courses. The aim is to build a solid foundation in mathematics in each student by developing her sense of numeracy and her appreciation for the many applications of mathematics in all aspects of her life. Students are expected to strive for mastery of concepts as well as to attain the skill to apply those concepts accurately. From Algebra I through Multi-Variable Calculus, critical thinking skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Students are supported in their endeavors by the faculty through Math Lab, regularly scheduled help sessions outside of class.
Beginning in 2016, Holy Cross launched “AHC Transformers,” a robotics team which will compete in the nationally recognized FIRST Robotics Competition.
Physics students participate in this annual STEM competition. Preliminary competitions are held at Holy Cross with the winning teams competing at the county-wide event.
Students explore the issues of conservancy and practical applications of nature study. Students participate in hands-on conservation work and discuss current policy issues.
- College Prep Science
- AP Biology
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Physics C: Mechanics
- Environmental Club
- Final Frontiers
- College Prep Technology
- AP Computer Science
- 1:1 iPad Program
- 3D Printer & Pens
- Multimedia Journalism
- Student Tech Team
- Project Lead the Way
- Intro to Engineering
- Principles of Engineering
- FIRST Robotics
- College Prep Math
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Statistics
- UMD Math Competition
- Multivariable Calculus
Holy Cross participates in VA Swim Meet.