Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to the STEM 8 program?
Please visit the APPLY page
If I was not in STEM this year, can I still join next year?
Yes, you can join STEM in any year where space is available. For more information, visit the APPLY page.
How many days do you meet?
Students schedules are 3 blocks in STEM 8 and STEM 9, and four blocks for STEM 10 and STEM 11/12. For more information, visit our SCHEDULE page.
Do students drop a course block to participate and if so, what course is allowable to drop (language or an elective)?
Please visit the SCHEDULE page to see a list of required courses for each STEM year.
Do you need a portfolio of work or would recommendations of a teacher work?
Application to STEM 8 is interest based. At this time, no portfolio is required to enter any year of STEM. Progressing to STEM 9 and beyond is based on teacher recommendation.
Is this a VSB-made STEM model or a model taken from another state/country?
Our model was locally developed over a one year inquiry model through research, meetings with representative partners (UBC, SFU, BCIT, and SAP), a conference with several American STEM schools, and a site visit to a local Seattle STEM school. We iterate our model each year based on research, inter-school inquiries, teacher evaluation, and student feedback.
Is there an opportunity for me to come in to see how the program is run?
Yes. Please visit the CONTACT page.
How many years has the program been running? Has it been long enough to establish the benefits as students attend post secondary?
Our program development started in 2013, with our first STEM 11/12 classes in 2014/2015. In post secondary, STEM students are on par with regular students in courses like Calculus, but have vastly superior communication, organization, and group work skills, and are more likely to be selected for the best co-op positions or special interest engineering teams. Current academic research indicates that when properly applied project based learning is more effective than traditional instruction in retention, comprehension, and engagement.