STEM Certification Score: 3

Students work independently and collaboratively in an inquiry-based learning environment that encourages finding creative solutions to authentic and complex problems.


Beyond specific courses and class projects, Rockhurst utilizes seven Active Learning Classrooms. Six additional classrooms will be rolled out for the 2017-2018 academic year. These student-centered classrooms increase learner engagement, comfort and frequency of teacher and peer feedback. Moreover, the classes create innovative opportunities for teachers both pedagogically and technologically. Rockhurst High School’s mission is to form “Men for Others” who are intellectually competent, committed to justice, religious, open to growth, and loving. The increased collaboration and relationship building within these active learning classrooms help form the life-long friends that is crucial to the vision and mission of Rockhurst High School.

The Advanced Filmmaking students worked with community organizations such as Operation Breakthrough, Morning Glory Cafe, and the STEAM Studio to create videos for them. The Introduction to Graphic Design and the Web Design classes improved the website and created marketing materials for 1861 Wealth Advisors. Furthermore, the Drawing & Design for Industry class constructed toy trucks and donated them to children at Operation Breakthrough.

-Above video created by a Rockhurst High School filmaking student

Incorporating more authentic problem solving and solution finding into the curriculum will take a giant leap forward in the 2017 - 2018 academic year. An Entrepreneurship for Others class will encourage students to apply what they are learning in real-world circumstances, enabling them to develop entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviors, and skills through utilizing an experiential, problem-based methodology. Culminating with an “Entrepreneurship for Others” (EFO) Pitch Night, open to the public, students will then present their learning canvas experiences and any associated products or services. In a similar effort, February 20, 2017 featured Rockhurst’s very own MECA Challenge. Forty-six students broken up into nine teams were matched up with an alumni mentor to solve a problem in a rapid fire, one day event. Students were presented a challenge in the morning and worked until the afternoon. They then pitched their solution to a group of judges. The event represented the type of innovative problem solving Rockhurst that engages students. Next year, there is goal to provide the MECA challenge to the entire junior class.

The kick-off of the Fundamentals of Science Research course will support students to engage in completing their very own authentic science research project. The fruits of this work will be the completion of a written report of the authentic project followed by a presentation of the experience and findings at the end of year Rockhurst Research Symposium.

Key Exemplars

Robotics Team

After school on Dec. 14, the top teams competed in the finals in the Barry Commons, surrounded by fellow classmates and teachers.

Active Learning Classrooms

The classes are shifting from being teacher-centered to student-centered. The role of the teacher is changing from being a 'sage on the stage' to the 'guide on the side.'

Fundamentals of Science Research

Rockhurst science teacher Heidi Kuster worked with the RHS STEAM Director, Greg Owsley, and STEAM Coordinator & Science Chair Paul Winkeler to outline the pathway to creating an opportunity for Rockhurst High School students to conduct original scientific research.

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