Carlisle School among Top 5,000 STEM High Schools in nation

Naomi Tsehaye and Mitchel Smith work together on an AP Chemistry lab

Newsweek announced its ranking of the top 5,000 STEM high schools for 2019, honoring excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Carlisle School was named no. 3,755 in the Nation and no. 125 in Virginia.

With its long history of reporting on scientific breakthroughs, technological revolutions, and societal challenges, Newsweek partnered with to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools. The list includes schools in every region of the country that offer skilled teachers who keep up with developments in these fields and who create dynamic learning environments to engage their students. The top 5,000 schools were curated from Educational Research™ (SER) using a proprietary scoring logic that took into consideration a broad set of quantitative and qualitative data inputs collected from Q2 2015–Q3 2019. The purpose was to determine which primary/secondary institutions in America best offer students experiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—as defined by the Congressional Research Service—while preparing them for post‐secondary outcomes. Additional factors, including affluence and median household income, were taken into consideration in compiling the rankings. “Children don’t realize it, but they’re natural STEM students,” says Nancy Cooper, Newsweek Global Editor in Chief. “We need to make sure that innate drive, curiosity, and creativity aren’t lost along the way. These high schools are helping to ensure America’s future in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is in good hands.”

Camden Farrar, Aaliyah Hagwood, and Maddy Walker learn about structural design through a hands-on lab

Carlisle School offers a robust STEAM program for students in Pre-K through 12th Grade. Twice weekly lower school students in Pre-K through 5th grade participate in hands-on activities in the Makerspace Lab. Each student takes an art/design class and a STEAM class where they explore coding. In middle school, students are offered STEAM, coding, and art as electives. In the upper school, course selections include coding, engineering, design, art, and forensic science.

Carlisle’s upper school was named an AP Capstone School in 2019 and offers 13 AP courses, including AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics, AP Psychology, and AP Statistics. Carlisle School students can earn the AP Capstone Diploma or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

Through participation in MATE Underwater Robotics competitions, students are deeply engaged in STEAM and are already preparing for careers in engineering and technology through their experiences with this program. Each division offers a MATE team as an extra-curricular. All students and faculty benefit from the new Tower Garden initiative, which provides fresh produce for the cafeteria salad bar, in addition to a wide array of STEAM educational opportunities.

Carlisle’s coding program was made possible by a generous donation from Don & Amy Lampe. The Tower Garden program was sponsored by Kenneth Vickers and Ann Vaughn Martin, in honor of their granddaughters, along with the Garden Study Club and Martinsville Garden Club.

According to Gracie Agnew, Carlisle’s Head of School, “This designation by Newsweek is a great honor and a testament to the strength and quality of the Carlisle STEAM program.” The full list of 5,000 top STEM high schools is available on








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