About STEM Academy

APL’s STEM Academy is a unique opportunity for middle and high school students (grades 8–12) to increase both their knowledge of and interest in STEM-related college majors and careers by taking after-school courses (4:30–6:30 p.m. ET).

APL STEM Academy courses aim to provide an accessible, inclusive, and supportive space to learn. All learners, no matter what their gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status, can be successful in STEM Academy courses. The primary goal is not to test and evaluate learners but to offer a supportive environment to learn more about STEM skills and careers.

STEM Academy courses allow students to:

  • learn technical and workplace essential skills from practicing APL computer scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals
  • learn about real-world applications of STEM
  • experience hands-on learning
  • explore career development opportunities
  • have fun in a supportive environment

We offer both technical and workplace essentials courses. Review our course catalog to learn more about STEM Academy offerings. Courses are offered based on instructor availability, so not all courses are offered each session.

Cost: STEM Academy requires a $49-per-course commitment fee ($99 for the Robotics course). Fees are used for scholarships issued by the APL STEM Program Management Office. Contact stemacademy@jhuapl.edu for information on financial assistance.

Eligibility

  • STEM Academy courses are offered for students in grades 8–12, with the exception of Python for Girls, which is offered for middle school girls in grades 6–8. Students in the summer session should be rising 8th–12th graders.
  • Reliable transportation to APL throughout the session is required (for in-person classes only).
    • Note: Students enrolled in our virtual courses do not need access to reliable transportation. However, they will need reliable internet access as well as audio and visual capabilities.

Students must be committed to attending at least 10 of the 12 classes offered each session and meeting the time requirements for each class (4:30–6:30 p.m. ET). Students who do not meet the attendance requirement will not be eligible for a certificate of completion for the course.

Timeline

STEM Academy is offered three times per year during our two 12-week fall and spring sessions and one 6-week summer session. The timeline below is for the 2022-23 calendar year. Next year’s timeline will be posted in July 2023. Dates are subject to change.

FALL SESSION

During the fall session, courses are offered one day per week from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET from the third week of September until the end of the second week of December.

August 18, 2022

Registration opens for returning students

August 19, 2022

Application period opens for new students

August 31, 2022

Application period closes for new students

September 14, 2022

Parent orientation (virtual)

September 19, 2022

First day of classes

November 21-24, 2022

Thanksgiving break (no classes this week)

December 15, 2022

Last day of classes

SPRING SESSION

During the spring session, courses are offered one day per week from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET mid-February until the end of the second week of May. Because we may experience inclement weather during the spring session, a class may be canceled without being rescheduled. If a class is canceled, we will attempt to reschedule it or offer it online.

January 11, 2023

Registration opens for returning students

January 13, 2023

Application period opens for new students

January 24, 2023

Application period closes for new students

February 7, 2023

Parent orientation (virtual)

February 13, 2023

First day of classes

April 3-6, 2023

Spring break (no classes this week)

May 11, 2023

Last day of classes

SUMMER SESSION

During the summer session, courses are offered two days per week from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday from the week of July 4 until mid-August.

May 23, 2023

Registration opens for returning students

May 25, 2023

Application period opens for new students

June 6, 2023

Application period closes for new students

June 28, 2023

Parent Orientation (virtual)

July 5, 2023

First day of classes

August 15, 2023

Last day of classes

Types of STEM Academy Courses

Two types of STEM Academy courses are offered: in-person or virtual. Courses will be listed as in-person or virtual when registering as a returning student or applying as a new student.

  • In-person courses. These are our traditional, on-campus courses. Courses take place in APL’s STEM Center learning laboratories located at:

    South Campus: Building 201
    11091 Johns Hopkins Road
    Laurel, MD 20723

    For additional information, including directions, please visit APL’s Locations and Directions page.

    Students complete 90% or more of their coursework in person (some courses require students to complete work outside of class time). In-person courses are open to students who have reliable transportation to APL and are able to be on campus by the start of class at 4:30 p.m. ET until class ends at 6:30 p.m. ET.

  • Virtual courses. These courses are for students who are interested in completing 100% of their coursework remotely. Virtual courses are offered via Zoom from 4:30 to6:30 p.m. ET. Students must have reliable internet access as well as audio and visual capabilities. Some courses require students to download software. Virtual courses are open to students anywhere in the United States, with priority given to students in Maryland.