Riverside STEM Academy (RSA) is a Riverside Unified School with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) serving grades 5-8, with extension plans to include a STEM High School. The school began in the fall of 2011 with 200 students and has expanded its second year to over 400 students. Each of the four grades rotate daily through three academic blocks of approximately eighty five minutes. These blocks include Mathematics, with a goal of all students completing Geometry by the end of grade eight, Laboratory Science that prepares students to enter chemistry in their freshman year of high school and Humanities which is Social Studies and Language Arts with integration of STEM concepts. In addition, students receive Physical Education with a certified PE teacher and a daily enrichment class.
Community partnerships are an extremely important component to the RSA vision. RSA has developed close ties with the University of California, Riverside Colleges, faculty and departments. RSA is also in the process in developing partnerships with other local universities and colleges, community organizations, and STEM related businesses.
It is important for our students to have a deep understanding of the STEM higher education majors and career pathways. Our community partners play a vital role to link students’ STEM-focused education to the broader STEM community. Weekly seminars are presented to students by experts in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. All students are required to work on an ongoing STEM research project with the support of a consulting scientist or engineer.
Students also participate in many after or before school activities and clubs that include Science Olympiad, MATHCOUNTS, Robotics, and Destination Imagination, and band. Some examples of clubs include Visual and Performing Arts Club, Photography Club, Fish Enthusiasts Club, Math Games Club, Debate Club, Book Club, and Chorus.