STEM programs are so popular at IND, one of every three students has enrolled. IND is proud to be the first school in Maryland to offer all three Project Lead the Way® Programs - Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Computer Science. Project Lead the Way is the nation's premier provider of STEM programs - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The Importance of STEM

An issue of great importance to our nation is its standing in STEM. Student proficiency and interest in these subjects has diminished where the U.S. once excelled, and women and minority group participation are severely underrepresented. Some schools responded to the crisis by creating STEM curriculums in-house. IND went to the experts.

Enter Project Lead the Way

After research, IND selected the most highly respected developers of STEM curriculum: Project Lead the Way® (PLTW). PLTW is developed and updated by subject matter experts—teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals—and field tested in classrooms across the country. The programs are aligned with relevant national standards, and importantly, they are certified by experts through visits and documentation to ensure that the programs meet PLTW’s rigorous standards for student learning.

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  • The Success of PLTW

    The success of PLTW’s programs relies on the challenging student-centered curriculum, supportive atmosphere, hands-on learning and the use of real world problems, which students find exciting and engaging. Often students share a personal story or a recent news event that relates directly to topics discussed in the classroom. The curriculum also moves beyond the learning of content to include the learning of key skills that include collaboration, effective oral and written communication and problem solving.
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  • IND Student PLTW Experience

    One of every three IND students is enrolled in a PLTW course and the programs have become a major attraction for middle school students. 

    IND graduate Ayobami Yoyin ’14 credits IND’s PLTW Biomedical Sciences Program for confirming her interest in medicine. Ayobami is attending Colgate University for the early acceptance program to George Washington University for medical school. “I plan to be a doctor in the NICU. The biomedical program helped reassure my interest in the medical field,” she said. “The first two years were a bit challenging, but come junior and senior year, there is more independence and we had the chance to choose topics we were interested in. We write reflections after every activity and those really help put things in perspective. Biomed taught me about all types of new careers in the medical field that I never thought I would enjoy. The class is also very hands-on and it’s a great way to deepen your medical knowledge.”
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What is Biomedical Science?

Biomedical science is a combination of science and human health related topics. Students role-play biomedical professionals, thinking through the challenges facing modern medicine: including physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health. They explore the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, working together to investigate and design innovative solutions to the health challenges of the 21st century such as fighting cancer with nanotechnology.

The Biomedical Sciences Program's Four Courses

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  • Principles of Biomedical Sciences

    Students investigate various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine and research processes. This course provides an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lays the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.
  • Human Body Systems

    Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the roles of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.
  • Medical Interventions

    Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the life of a fictitious family. The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body. Students explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through these scenarios, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices and diagnostics.
  • Capstone Course - Biomedical Innovations

    Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. They work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering and public health. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution or the biomedical industry. Throughout the course, students are expected to present their work to an audience of STEM professionals.

Engineering Program Began 2012-2013 Academic Year

IND proudly added another PLTW program to its curriculum: Engineering. The program adopts a real-world approach, allowing students to learn and apply the design process and acquire strong teamwork and communications skills.

According to PLTW, students use the same industry-leading 3D-design software used by Intel, Lockheed Martin and Pixar. Topics explored include aerodynamics, astronautics and space life sciences. Students apply biological and engineering concepts related to biomechanics. They design, test and actually construct circuits and devices such as smart phones and tablets, and work collaboratively on a capstone project.

The courses are a supplement to the required mathematics and science courses. To enroll, students need to complete a questionnaire, score 85 or above in mathematics on the HSPT and be approved by the engineering teacher.

Engineering Four Courses

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  • Introduction to Engineering Design

    The major focus of IED is the design process and its application. Through hands-on projects, students apply engineering standards and document their work. Students use industry standard 3D-modeling software to help them design solutions to solve proposed problems, document their work using an engineer’s notebook and communicate solutions to peers and members of the professional community.
  • Principles of Engineering

    This survey course exposes students to major concepts they’ll encounter in a post-secondary engineering course of study. Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials and kinematics. They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate solutions
  • Aerospace Engineering

    This course propels students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. As they explore the physics of flight, students bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system and rockets. They learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software and explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.
  • Capstone Course - Engineering Design and Development

    Students work in teams to design and develop an original solution to a valid open-ended technical problem by applying the engineering design process. Students perform research to choose, validate and justify a technical problem. After carefully defining the problem, teams design, build and test their solutions while working closely with industry professionals who provide mentoring opportunities. Finally, student teams present and defend their original solution to an outside panel.

Computer Science

Computer Science teaches computational thinking, software engineering, professional programming language and about platforms that enable students to develop apps, dynamic websites and graphical user interfaces. There’s great news for our students who take these programs. According to industry experts, “the number of job openings projected in 2018 for STEM fields will reach 2.8 million, and approximately half of these will be for computer specialists.” High school graduates who participated in computer science were nearly three times as likely to major in these high paying, plentiful careers.

Computer Science's Four Courses

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  • Freshman Year

    Emerging Technology (first semester - required of all freshmen);
    Developing Apps Using Scratch (second semester)
  • Sophomore Year

    Mobile Applications Using MIT AppInventor (first semester);
    Web Design Using HTML/CSS (second semester)

  • Junior Year

    AP Computer Science Principles Using Python (full year)
  • Senior Year

    AP Computer Science A Using Java (full year)

Clubs & Activities

Engineering/Robotics Club
Established by the
School Sisters of
Notre Dame in 1847.