The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

The Riley Center for STEM Education

Innovation Continues with The Riley Center for STEM Education

The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur celebrated the blessing and dedication of the new 30,000 square foot Riley Center for STEM Education at a ceremony on April 12, 2019.

The Center includes technology enabled active learning (TEAL) environments with eight science laboratories, three lab prep rooms, eight mathematics classrooms, a design thinking and entrepreneurship classroom and labs dedicated to design and innovation, robotics and coding. A suspended kinetic art installation by noted artist and sculptor Brad Howe highlights the Center’s dramatic STEM Gallery.

Notre Dame is deeply grateful to those families and individuals who have been instrumental in this bold, transformative project. We now need your help to cross the finish line! Be a part of history, and show your support for Notre Dame's tradition of excellence in education for the young women of Notre Dame, now and in the future. Join us as we embark upon the final phase of our $15 million campaign. Click on the link below or contact Maria Breck Gunn, Director of Advancement, at mgunn@ndapa.org or 610.687.3867.

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Why is STEM a critical part of the Academy's vision for the future?

One of the key educational philosophies of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur is that we teach our young women, "What they need to know for life." STEM interdisciplinary education provides opportunities to develop core competencies such as critical thinking, analytical and deductive reasoning, computing and communication skills -- competencies needed by all students in all careers.

What does the Center feature?

A 30,000 square foot facility, the Center boasts flexible, technology enabled active learning (TEAL) environments that include eight science laboratories, three lab prep rooms, eight mathematics classrooms, a design thinking and entrepreneurship classroom and labs dedicated to design and innovation, robotics and coding. The Center also connects with outdoor teaching learning space to provide a wider campus experience for environmental science. While the Center reflects the current curriculum offered by our excellent faculty, it provides a more extended, nimble space for research, teaching, collaboration and project based learning.

What do we hope our students will gain from the Center?

Educational space should inspire, providing an intellectual energy and an aspiration to push the boundaries of learning. The Center also promotes the dynamic between theory and practice, as project based learning models emphasize the ability of STEM designs and products to heal and enhance the quality of life throughout the world.

What is the future for women in STEM?

Women are underrepresented in STEM careers, as corporate executives consistently seek female leaders in engineering, coding, biochemistry, aeronautics and other STEM related fields. Promoting self-confidence in young women starts in the critically formative years of middle and high school as we prepare our students for opportunities, challenges and careers that may not even currently exist.