Freya Schemm

Freya Schemm

New Teacher hired as STEM resource teacher!

Marymount University - IASL Student Chapter

"Being a member of the MU-IASL student chapter was a great experience! I got to see first hand how engaged students were during STEM  projects and I knew that I couldn't wait to implement STEM in my own classroom. The whole hiring process went very quickly for me.  My experiences with MU-IASL really helped me stand out during interviews. I talked about my passion for STEM and dreams about how I would integrate it into my curriculum.  I am currently teaching 2nd grade and can't wait to get my students excited for STEM!!!"

Freedom Hill Elementary School

Marymount University students hosted a STEM afternoon at Freedom Hill Elementary School on January 27th, 2018. This was the first event at this location and had a wonderful turnout.

Here are the STEM-NSTA Officers and Leaders with Dr. Rajdev:

Real Resize 2


Here are the volunteers from the event:

Real Resize

Click here to see more photos of the event!

School STEM Certification

 STEM Logo

What will STEM Certification Look Like?

  • A medal of distinction for the school and a plaque presented to the principal in front of the school board by the association’s leadership or his/her designee

  • A certificate of accomplishment for every teacher

  • Nomination of one student-centered portfolio demonstrating STEM skills - entered into the International Student Awards Contest

  • Publicity on the website

  • Community, national and international press release

  • Principals will automatically be nominated for an International Award for STEM Leadership

  • All principals will be part of the International Who’s Who of STEM Leadership – Innovators’ Pioneer Cohort of the Best in Class of STEM Leaders 

  • Schools will nominate one teacher to be part of the international STEM Teaching awards program

What does certification require?

  • One-on-one phone interview with the Principal

  • A written statement of interest with a non-refundable payment (TBD)

  • A survey addressing the school’s ability to demonstrate mastery of STEM education

  • A principal biography

  • A phone interview with key teachers (3-5)

  • Onsite visit by principal, peers, designated leaders in STEM, and at least one industry leader-(1-day visit)

  • Submittal of the school technology and/or STEM strategic plan

  • Evidence of STEM education mastery using a variety of fact-finding methods and data tools, developed by the association - curriculum review, teacher professional development, school website

  • Final association board approval for the STEM designation

  • Interview with school partners – phone or on site

  • Interview with a handful of selected parents - randomly selected

  • Review of select student or student-group portfolios

  • Review of the overall data by industry-led advisors to the association

  • Video of the STEM program in action

  • Principal’s statement and overview

  • STEM in action in the classroom

  • Example of outstanding project using STEM across the curricula

How long will it take to become certified?

The initial letter of intent activates the certification process.  A school can self-nominate or be recommended by their industry partners.  Once identified, the principal is contacted for the intake interview. If the school qualifies, then the process for STEM certification begins, provided required fees are paid, and criteria set above is in place with projected dates. It is mandatory for the principal or approved designee to attend all meetings. 

What if my school does not meet the quality standards for STEM certification?

Once all the data is collected and reviewed, the recommendation for the STEM certification will be sent to the International Association of STEM Leaders board for final approval.  In the event a school is rejected for STEM certification, a series of written recommendations will be provided and the association leadership will host a phone debriefing to discuss the school’s areas of improvement; findings and recommendations.  No less than six months from the findings, a school can re-apply and present new information for being eligible for STEM certification.  Documents, interviews and a second school site review will be conducted for a fee. If the school does not become certified in the second round of STEM school review, the school leadership will need to make application one year following the second review. 

Several groups provide quality STEM training. Some specialize in policy, technology, curriculum integration, engineering education, etc.  Prior to recommending trainers to schools, the association will screen and certify the quality and appropriateness of the training. Based on the needs of the schools, we will “match” the appropriate training to ensure schools are getting the kind of assistance they need to improve their chances for gaining the STEM certificate.

Indicator Levels

  1. No evidence – there is absolutely no evidence of this taking place but plans are being made to develop STEM programming

2.      Beginning Stage - there is evidence that the concept is present but in a very basic manner

3.      Developing understanding - there is evidence that the concept is in place and has been in  

      place for a period of time

4.      Mastery – there is full evidence that the concept is fully present

If interested in learning more about STEM certification please contact Dr. Usha Rajdev at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upcoming Events

STEM Chapter students will conduct STEAM based activities for parents, students and their local community:
  • St Michael's Catholic School (St Mikes) - October 19, 2017 6:00 pm -7:15 pm
  • Freedom Hill Elementary School - January, 27, 2018 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 
  • Fort Belvoir Elementary School - March 7, 2018 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm 
  • Marymount University, Verizon Gym, Main Campus April 14, 2018 10:00 am -12:00 pm 
Contact Dr. Rajdev at urajdev@marymount.edu for further information


First event on Wednesday, October 7, with NASA was a huge success. See pictures below.  Head of NASA Goddard Education, Dr. Gabrys came online to congratulate the students and indicated they will extend this partnership through Marymount University to Stranmillis. This was the engineering and technology aspect of their STEM certification!!

Another event takes place on October 14 with a joint workshop presentation on extreme weather and climate change.