Catholic Memorial High School Science Teacher Sandy Rice guides students through a lab to mimic insulin production. (Submitted photo)

Catholic Memorial High School, Waukesha, is the recipient of the 2023 Excellence in STEM Award for Education as announced by STEM Forward.

STEM Forward is a Southeastern Wisconsin technical organization providing and promoting educational outreach programs in STEM, and recognized CMH as the educational institution whose curriculum, individual activities and overall STEM program demonstrated a unique approach and unparalleled commitment to promoting STEM awareness and improving STEM competency.

STEM curricula focus on teaching in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

CMH was highlighted for the extensive STEM course offerings available to students across all three strands of the Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum in biomedical science, computer science and engineering. In addition to the robust course offering, CMH offers students the unique opportunity to take their knowledge beyond the classroom and into real-world environments as a part of a senior-year internship program in the fields of information technology, biomedical science, engineering and business. The expansion of these programs has elevated the student academic experience and helps to further the future interest in careers in the STEM fields.

CMH was additionally recognized for the CMH STEM Challenge, an annual event hosted by Catholic Memorial to encourage middle school students’ interest in the STEM fields of study. The STEM Challenge brings more than 300 middle school students to CMH, where they are put into teams and mentored by CMH STEM students to learn “Memorial Propel,” and compete in STEM activities.

The introduction to “Memorial Propel” is one of the many reasons why the STEM Challenge has been so beneficial. Memorial Propel is the CMH-trademarked design-thinking process that guides students through problem solving and was developed with the goal of engaging students of all ability levels to think creatively, critically and collaboratively while learning to communicate effectively.

“At Catholic Memorial, we encourage our students to think creatively and innovatively, approaching projects with an open mind,” CMH President Donna Bembenek. “Our nationally recognized STEM program students the opportunity to elevate their knowledge through hands-on classroom experiences and into the real world during their internship experiences.”

Catholic Memorial received its award at the 20th annual SySTEMnow conference Nov. 1.