Global STEM Challenges Program

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Our Program

In our three-year program, we have been inspired by the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges to integrate multiple disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math throughout the multi-year experience.

Each year in the program will focus on a major theme of the Grand Challenges. Throughout freshmen year, students will work to develop solutions to problems around the ideas of food and transportation. Sophomore year will focus on global challenges of water. The final year in our program will be focused on ideas of energy.

Students who are well equipped for our challenging program embody a willingness to step out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves, and find value in collaboration. Students will reflect upon their own learning, thinking deeply of how they learn. We do not expect all of our students to begin with these skills. We will develop and foster these skills within our students. We seek to support students in developing a Growth Mindset.



  1. What is the benefit of attending Global STEM versus traditional high school classes?

Students in the Global STEM program learn all of the same content as their peers in traditional classes at an honors or International Baccalaureate (IB) level plus a computer science credit, but in Global STEM students learn how to apply this content to real-world challenges. Essentially, they are able to answer the question “Why do I need to learn this?” or “When will I ever use this in real-life?” Students learn in groups and develop the Portrait of a Graduate (POG) skills they’ll need in college and careers, such as creative and critical thinking, collaboration, ethical citizenship, resilience, and communication skills. 

  1. What is the pass rate for the Virginia SOL for math and science?

The pass rates for the geometry, algebra 2, biology, and chemistry SOL tests have ranged from 96% - 100% since the beginning of the program with approximately 30% pass advance. The most recent cohort to take the biology SOL had a 98% pass rate.

  1. After the completion of the 3-year program, where does the transfer student attend senior year?

The transfer students are able to remain at Edison High School for their senior year through a senior status or IB transfer. Necessary information is sent to Global STEM students in February of their junior year.


Student Life:

  1. Will the student be able to pursue fine arts or other programs at Edison High School?

Each student’s schedule can vary so it is important for students to discuss the courses they are interested in and their options with their counselor. Global STEM is an elective program with an elective course built into the schedule. Many 9th and 10th grade students do not have room for additional electives. However, some Global STEM students have taken courses online or over the summer to accommodate their additional elective requests. There are also several after school clubs and activities for students who want to participate in fine and performing art but do not have room for a course.

  1. Will the student be able to balance school with sports, clubs, social life, etc.?

Students have large blocks of time to work on their Global STEM projects with their teams during class. If they use their time wisely, they should be able to complete most of their requirements during class time. Students in Global STEM do not have any additional requirements outside of class time beyond the homework they would find in traditional classes. Most Global STEM students are active throughout the school in a large variety of sports, clubs, and activities.


Additional Information:

  1. How are completed, successful projects shared with the community?

During and at the end of projects, students set up a science fair presentation format and the community is invited to attend student presentations. During this time, guests visit each student group and learn about their project, the design process, and the science and math students used during the process. Guests are able to ask questions and give feedback.

  1. How can a student exit the program before completion?

Students may not change their class schedule during the school year. If a student and their parents decide that he/she would like to exit the program after their 9th or 10th grade year, they will request a meeting with their counselor, the GSCP lead teacher, and the administrator for the program in April. Students who have transferred to Edison for the Global STEM program would be required to return to their home school if they exit the program before completion.

Year Transferring Out Credits Earned and Included on Transcripts Courses eligible to take/ recommended SOL implications
End of 9th grade Integrated Math 1 Honors  Algebra 2/Algebra 2 Honors Students will need to take either the Geometry or Algebra 2 SOL in May of 10th grade.
Integrated Science 1 Honors Chemistry/Chemistry Honors Students will need to take the Chemistry SOL in 10th grade (students can also take Biology credit recovery and take the Biology SOL the summer after 9th grade.
Integrated Engineering 1 Elective of their choice N/A
End of 10th grade Integrated Math 1 & 2 Honors  IB Math Analysis/IB Math Applications/Precalculus/Precalculus Honors/Probability & Statistics/Trigonometry & Discrete Math N/A
Integrated Science 1 & 2 Honors  IB Biology I/IB Physics I/Physics/Physics Honors/AP Physics N/A
Integrated Engineering 1 & 2 Elective of their choice N/A