Founded in 2009, the Dayton Regional STEM School is a sixth- through 12th-grade public independent STEM school with a mission of preparing and inspiring the next generation of leaders and innovators. Contributed photo

Dayton Regional STEM School: Celebrating a decade of innvoation

The Dayton Regional STEM School is celebrating “10 Years of Innovation” during the 2018-19 school year. To celebrate this major milestone, the entire community is invited to join the school for several exciting events and projects, including a capital expansion, strategic planning, a 10-Year Celebration Gala and more.

Founded in 2009, the Dayton Regional STEM School is a sixth- through 12th-grade public independent STEM school with a mission of preparing and inspiring the next generation of leaders and innovators.

Six hundred 80 students come from more than 35 districts and eight counties to experience this unique and innovative learning environment that focuses on STEM principles, project-based learning and career exploration.

This year, the STEM School was named No. 1 on the region’s list of “Top Performing High Schools” by the Dayton Business Journal. The Class of 2018 impressed with a 100 percent graduation rate and more than 70 percent of students went on to pursue a STEM major in college.

The school was also an honoree for “Best Not-for-Profit” at the Dayton Business Journal’s 2017 Business of the Year Awards. It’s clear that the community loves STEM.

The success of the school and its students would not be possible without the parents, partners and regional leaders who have shown their steadfast support for the past decade. The 10-Year Celebration event this spring helped mark this milestone with the community. Guests enjoyed dinner, dancing, a silent auction of student work and great company.

The “STEM Supporter of the Decade” recipients also were honored. These individuals and organizations have been vital partners, volunteers and advocates to the school throughout the past 10 years and have contributed extensively to student and school-wide successes. Honorees were Wright State University, Production Control Units, Northrop Grumman, Kettering Police Department, Susan and David Bodary and Matt Grushon.

The Dayton Regional STEM School has just finished a major capital project to ensure that students can continue to receive a rich experience in a facility that reflects a commitment to STEM education.

That vision includes expanded spaces to support learning, cross-curricular collaboration, partner engagement and a growing student body. A 30,000-square-foot expansion and renovation has created five new classrooms, science lab, assembly space and flexible learning laboratory. This expansion project will allow the school to grow the student population by 20 percent by 2025, providing more students in the Dayton region the opportunity to experience all that STEM has to offer.

This new space is also the new home of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory. The GRILL is an educational outreach program that inspires student interest in STEM through modeling and simulation software, helping equip the region’s next generation of critical defense workforce.

This is the only AFRL installation in a public school in the nation, making the partnership the first of its kind. Since the GRILL and the STEM School have missions that closely align, this collaboration is sure to make a positive and lasting impact on the Dayton community.

The Dayton Regional STEM School is creating a new strategic plan during the 2018-19 school year. Through a collaborative process with a diverse group of stakeholders, school leaders and supporters will generate an actionable living strategy document to guide the school into the next decade.

Its three focus areas will be educational experience, facilities and grounds, and sustainability. The staff continues to reflect and refine everything to create an engaging, supportive and innovative learning environment for students.

Looking ahead to the next decade, the future looks bright for the Dayton Regional STEM School.

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