Pre-College Programs

STEM II: Course Details

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) | Define. Investigate. Excel.

STEM II is designed as an opportunity for students to learn in an academically challenging and structured environment. Students are provided with a level of personal freedom that allows them to grow as individuals, all while being supported within a safe environment. In addition to the academic course content, students are expected to provide a significant level of care and attention to their projects. The program also includes some free-choice time for students to explore, as well as structured planned STEM activities and recreational co-curricular experiences. 


The STEM II program is a Pre-College program for students who are either entering the 9th grade or have just recently completed 9th grade. STEM II is designed to strengthen the student's innate curiosity and passion for content in the STEM subjects, further prepare them for success in advanced academic settings, and introduce them to potential career paths. 

Courses are offered, each two weeks in duration, and students choose one that they are most interested in exploring. Classes meet for three hours each morning and for multiple afternoons. These courses introduce students to the concepts behind topics of global importance that are part of the current world. Through inquiry-based instruction, the students themselves—by asking appropriate questions—seek out knowledge, information, and scientific truth. This approach assures that the students gain a deep conceptual understanding of complex phenomena. 

STEM II students learn from the ground up by first focusing on the basics and then by continuously reaching further to gain a deeper understanding of more advanced concepts. By being exposed to this type of inquiry, students not only learn how to think critically but also get hands-on experience similar to how professionals conduct research and make discoveries. 

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Are you a Rising 10th Grade student? Extend your time with us — Enroll in Summer@Brown

Rising 10th grade students who participate in the STEM II Program have the option of remaining on campus and participating in the Summer@Brown program beginning on July 10, pending approval While students are not required to submit a second application, any interested student should contact for assistance.

NOTE: STEM II students may not attend a Pre-College program immediately prior to the start of STEM II, June 26.

If a student enrolls in a session of Summer@Brown, they are required to move from their original dorm room, and a new roommate will be assigned. This enables students to form new relationships with fellow students who are in their course and on campus for the same duration of time. This has proven to create better communities for students which leads to further success. Students are responsible for moving their belongings. In most cases, the residence halls are located in close proximity to each other.

Academic Project

Faculty enhance the academic content through the inclusion of a challenging and comprehensive research project, activity, or design challenge. Students spend time out of class during the full two weeks working on this project and present their efforts on the final day to their instructor, peers, and family. Students are highly encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet with internet capabilities for the academic project. If you do not own a laptop there are a limited number available for loan through the Computing and Information Services Department while on campus.

Personal Development

Through this program, students should gain a greater sense and awareness of where their curiosity and strengths may lead them in the future and how they can make a worthwhile impact on the world. They will develop a sense of personal responsibility and will be supported on this journey to independence. In addition, carefully developed activities provide students with opportunities to explore many facets of personal development and effective community building. 

STEM Exploration

In addition to the academic components of the program, we offer a number of extracurricular opportunities to further challenge our students’ ingenuity and problem-solving skills. Students will also interact with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Brown to learn about some of the many possible careers in science and what it takes to get there. Other extracurricular activities may include lectures on current research at Brown University and a STEM-related field trip.

Co-Curricular Experiences

In the evenings, and on weekends, students have time to enjoy recreational activities with their peers, along with their STEM II Residential Assistants. Activities are selected to be engaging and age-appropriate and may include off-site field trips to explore the local region.

Goals for STEM II Students:

Academic Goals

Personal Goals

Community Building

Student Evaluations

STEM II courses do not have grades. STEM II allows students to concentrate on learning and on the process of scholarship, not their final grade. All students who successfully fulfill the course requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion. Students enrolled in STEM II will also receive a narrative Course Performance Report (CPR), in which the instructor outlines the content of the course and evaluates the student’s performance.

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