Hawken's STEMM program for sophomores, juniors and seniors provides guided research in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine.
Students involved in the STEMM program begin with a semester of Scientific Research I, which develops scientific reading comprehension and critical thinking and also encourages broad thinking about experimental methods, limitations and questions.
Scientific Research II, which spans spring and summer, challenges students to conduct research, work with a mentor, and review journal articles on a topic related to their area of study. Students are required to complete a 160 hour summer research project with a mentor at NASA, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, VA Hospital, University Hospital or another research lab.
In the fall following the research component of the program, Scientific Research III develops student skills in scientific writing and oral presentation as they as they write an abstract, prepare a professional poster, and rehearse a talk based on their summer project. Each year, Upper School STEMM students present projects before a panel of judges at Hawken’s annual STEMM Research Symposium. Past research project topics include robotics, watersheds, earthquake resistance, cancer, and nanotechnology.
Students have presented their research at the Hawken’s annual Research Symposium, Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair, the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, and Siemens. One student’s work was published in the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; another presented his research on “The Effect of Neutral Spaces in a Markov Chain Model of Bacterial Evolution” at the 2014 European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Approximately 90 students are currently involved in Hawken’s STEMM program. In recent years, numerous Hawken students have garnered grand prizes and first and second place awards at the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair. Since 2010, six grand prize winners from Hawken have received all-expense paid trips to the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.