Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Where is APL’s STEM Center located?
  2. APL’s STEM Center is located on APL’s South Campus in Building 201 at 11091 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland 20723. We are one exit south of Route 32 off of Route 29. For additional information, including directions, please visit APL’s Locations and Directions page. Please note: We are NOT located on the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore.

  3. Is APL accessible by public transportation?
  4. APL is not accessible by public transportation.

  5. How many students are in each course?
  6. STEM Academy courses typically have a limit of 10 students per instructor, although some courses are smaller or larger depending on the course material and type of course (in-person versus virtual).

  7. How much does a course cost?
  8. The cost for each course is $49 ($99 for the Robotics course).

    For returning students registering for a STEM Academy course, payment is required via PayPal at the time of registration. More information about registering for courses is available here.

    For new students applying to STEM Academy, payment is not required during the application process. Upon acceptance, you will receive an invoice from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for the course(s) you have been admitted to.

    Collected fees will be used for scholarships issued by the APL STEM Program Management Office. Financial assistance is available by contacting stemacademy@jhuapl.edu.

  9. I live outside the state of Maryland. Can I still participate?
  10. 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. However, remember to consider travel times for all in-person courses when deciding whether you have enough time to participate. You must be at APL by the time class starts at 4:30 p.m. ET.

    Virtual courses are open to students anywhere in the United States, with priority given to students in Maryland.

  11. It’s snowing. Is class cancelled?
  12. We recognize that inclement weather and other emergencies can affect STEM Academy’s ability to open for classes. Our top priority is the students’ safety. After careful consideration of all relevant factors, including road conditions, weather forecasts, and building maintenance, the decision to close STEM Academy is made by the STEM Program Manager. The decision to close is based on Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) guidance and will be made by 2 p.m. ET. Parents, students, and instructors will be notified via the learning management system.

  13. My family is going on vacation this summer. Can I still participate in the STEM Academy summer session?
  14. STEM Academy students are expected to participate in at least 10 of the 12 classes for each session, including the summer session. Students who do not meet this requirement are not eligible for a certificate of completion and may be removed from the session without a refund. The summer session is a condensed session, so classes are held two days a week. It may be difficult to make up coursework when missing two classes in a row.

  15. I am on the soccer/tennis/lacrosse/drama/etc. team, and I have to go to practice, but I still want to take a STEM Academy course. How can I make that work?
  16. During the fall and spring sessions, STEM Academy courses are offered once a week Monday through Thursday. You can still take a STEM Academy course (either in-person or virtually) while also participating in other extracurricular activities. However, remember to consider travel times for all in-person courses when deciding whether you have enough time to participate. You must be at APL by the time class starts at 4:30 p.m. ET.

    For the fall session, seniors should also take the college application process into account when planning their schedules. For the spring session, juniors and seniors should take AP exams into account when planning their schedules.

    It is expected that students who are accepted into a STEM Academy course will make the course a priority.

  17. I’m in 7th grade. Can I take a STEM Academy course?
  18. 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. Rising 8th graders may apply for the summer STEM Academy session.