Global STEM Challenges Program

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Mission Statement

The Global STEM Challenges Program cultivates curious, collaborative, and responsible future leaders. The program:

  1. Integrates mathematics, science, and technology/engineering into a unified learning experience.
  2. Utilizes problem-based learning with real-world challenges. Students explore the National Academy of Engineering's 14 Grand Challenges and the United Nations' 17 Goals for Sustainable Development.
  3. Fosters collaborative learning environments and Portrait of a Graduate attributes. Students work in teams to develop critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Equips students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to tackle complex modern challenges.
  5. Inspires a passion for STEM and encourages students to pursue careers that make a positive impact on the world.

Through this approach students solve complex problems and create a more sustainable future for all. The Global STEM Challenges Program empowers students to become the next generation of innovators!


  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 OutCredits Earned and Included on TranscriptsCourses eligible to take/ recommendedSOL implications
End of 9th gradeIntegrated Math 1 Honors Algebra 2/Algebra 2 HonorsStudents will need to take either the Geometry or Algebra 2 SOL in May of 10th grade.
Integrated Science 1 HonorsChemistry/Chemistry HonorsStudents 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 1Elective of their choiceN/A
End of 10th gradeIntegrated Math 1 & 2 Honors IB Math Analysis/IB Math Applications/Precalculus/Precalculus Honors/Probability & Statistics/Trigonometry & Discrete MathN/A
Integrated Science 1 & 2 Honors IB Biology I/IB Physics I/Physics/Physics Honors/AP PhysicsN/A
Integrated Engineering 1 & 2Elective of their choiceN/A