STEM Certification Score: 4

Community, post-secondary, business/industry partners and/or families actively support and are engaged with teachers and students in the STEM program.


Rockhurst began efforts to increase STEM programming through robotics, computer science and active learning classrooms in 2014. Then, in 2015 that work received a stimulus donation from Michael & Millie Brown. Their financial support, as well as the investment of their personal time and talent, has rippled throughout the entire community of business/industry partners and/or families. The STEAM initiative was born to assist in the school’s mission and quickly became a crucial component of the capital campaign and an exciting energy within the board of trustees.

Rockhurst began engaging in partnerships unprecedented in its one hundred year history. Zahner - Design & Fabrication began assisting the Robotics team with their metal needs. Honeywell and Cerner enabled adult mentors to work with students on a daily basis. The Kauffman Foundation started working with the school in terms of its efforts to spread the Exeter Mathematics Institute opportunity throughout the metropolitan area. ThinkBig, KC Social Innovation, Kansas City Mayor’s Office and LRNG began working with teachers on an institutional level to create digital badges for all students, not just Rockhurst students. A group of educational leaders from area private schools toured the local makerspace, Hammerspace, together. The KC STEM Alliance will be supporting the development of the new Principles of Engineering Course. The UMKC Small Business Development and Technology Center partnered to write and help implement the Entrepreneurship for Others course curriculum. Gould Evans, the STEAM-Studio, CEED, Rockhurst University and Scott Rice Office Works all collaborated with the high school to offer more showings of Most Likely to Succeed throughout the Kansas City area.

One of the most impactful institutional partnerships consists of the STEAM Advisory Board. This collection of industry partners advises Rockhurst High School and St. Teresa’s Academy. The board met once per quarter from 2015-2016 and accelerated to meeting once per month in 2016-2017. By communicating at a higher level, new opportunities are being created for students. For example, the Linda Hall library as well as the Missouri Department of Conservation will be helping with the school’s new research class and the UMKC School of Engineering will help provide opportunities for self-directed internship and job opportunities. On the other end of the spectrum, Rockhurst is also reaching out to middle schools and grade schools. In the fall of 2015, the Rockhurst High School mathematics department hosted 28 teachers for a 1-day ‘Middle School Math Day’ workshop for area seventh and eighth grade teachers.

Rockhurst High School’s mission is to form “Men with and for Others”. The STEAM initiative values programming and outreach that models this behavior for its students. The STEAM initiative encourages Rockhurst to be a “School with and for Others”. Rockhurst can collaborate within the educational ecosystem of Kansas City and help improve that landscape. Many examples have already been included in other narratives such as the Exeter Mathematics Institute and the Steam Studio. However, Rockhurst is also working with the Lean Lab, which is an education innovation startup. Partnering with CEED has led to an internal MECA Challenge and hopefully many others that include other schools. Finally, Rockhurst is demonstrating leadership among the Jesuit Schools Network consisting of 80 schools across the country. In early March of 2017, the STEAM Director, Greg Owsley, administered a national webinar about how schools in the network can approach STEM through an Ignatian Lens.

Key Exemplars

STEAM Advisory Board

Members from the greater STEAM community will be asked to form an advisory board to help guide the STEAM initiatives at St. Teresa’s Academy and Rockhurst High School.The goal is to represent a breadth and depth of awareness in a variety of STEAM fields to help connect and prepare our students for the world.

School for Others

Rockhurst will be a community asset and be a "School with and for Others" in order to model for students what it means to be a "Man with and for Others".

Middle School Math Day

The math department hosted 19 middle school math teachers, on November 13th. The day was an opportunity to meet them and to collaborate and exchange ideas.

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