The STEM Center works to develop programs, special events, and partnerships for and with our local community. The design of these opportunities is informed by the interests of our faculty and students, current research-informed recommendations on best practices in informal STEM education, and recognized opportunity gaps in our region. We aim for these opportunities to be sustainable and to benefit both our K-12 constituents and contributing JMU community members.


The JMU STEM Experience:
This no-cost opportunity is for grades 7-12. This development of this program was funded by the JMU STEM Center and 2018 Madison Trust donor support with 2021 seed funding by JMU Office of Research and Scholarship. For grades grades PK-6, see our list of partnering programs for STEM field trip opportunities.

STEM Corps is a community of JMU students from all majors who have an interest in making quality STEM education accessible to K-12 students in our community with a focus on engaging and impacting children of historically under-served communities surrounding.


Partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (BGCHR):
Through this partnership, JMU STEM Corps members engage BGCHR members in weekly STEM programming on Friday afternoons. The lessons are part of our STEM foundations-centered informal STEM curriculum. In Fall 2023, we will begin working with both Bluestone Elementary and Stone Spring Elementary clubs (HCPS) each week. We aim to make this a mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership by working closely with BGCHR executive director, Sandra Quigg and her talented staff, applying JMU's best practices in community engagement. This program is funded by the JMU STEM Center and 2023 Madison Trust donor support.

Partnership with The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind:
In this partnership, JMU STEM professors, VSDB’s Science teacher Dylan Boeckmann, and VSDB Orientation & Mobility instructors develop enriching real-world STEM experiences for middle and high school students with visual impairments. VSDB students visit campus twice a year to work side-by-side with JMU STEM Corps members to address a problem using STEM practices that incorporate auditory or tactile methods of data collection and analysis.

Annual Events

Annual Brain Bee:
For students ages 13-19. This is a day of friendly competition, hands-on experiences in our neuroscience labs with faculty and students, and connecting with peers from across the commonwealth with similar interests. The winner competes in the National Brain Bee in April. There is no cost. This event is held on a Saturday from ~9-2 in early-mid February.

This competition in anatomy for local high school students was developed by a collaborative team of Anatomy Professors as an outreach initiative to promote education in anatomy, embryology and histology and is sponsored by an Innovations Program Award from the American Association for Anatomy. 

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