The Okaloosa Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medical (STEMM) Academy is an innovative middle school that provides a free and public education to sixth- through eighth-grade students in Okaloosa County with a curriculum focused on academic rigor and acceleration. The STEMM Academy was established in 2012 as part of the Okaloosa STEMM Center. In addition to the STEMM Academy, the Okaloosa STEMM Center includes the Center for STEMM Innovation (CSI) teacher training center, and a central location for PreK students with disabilities. The families, faculty, staff, and administration at STEMM emphasize student academic achievement as our primary mission and are committed to continuous school improvement. Adhering to the rigorous national accrediting standards established by AdvancED, STEMM has been accredited by CogNiA/AdvancED every year. STEMM has consistently earned an "A" rating from the Florida Department of Education's School Recognition Program.
In 2012, the STEMM Academy started with a class of sixth-grade students, expanding to include 7th grade in 2013, and 8th grade in 2014. In its ten years of serving the community with excellence in academics, STEMM has grown from an initial enrollment of 88 students to its current enrollment of over 300 middle school students. In 2018, the STEMM Academy added a central hub for prekindergarten students with disabilities. Our Little Stingers Program consists of voluntary prekindergarten (VPK), prekindergarten for students with disabilities, and unique Community Classrooms which are a blend of VPK and PreKD students.The Community Classroom is intended to prepare both VPK and PreKD students for kindergarten in a diverse environment. Our MIddles and Littles program brings both age groups together for special events.
The Okaloosa STEMM Academy Middle School is a multi-faceted academy for students interested in pursuing STEMM careers. The curriculum has been specifically designed to enable students to transition to high school having completed numerous high school courses including Algebra I Honors, Geometry I Honors, Physical Science Honors, Fundamentals of Web Design, and Earth Space Science Honors. STEMM follows a block schedule with 100-minute classes that facilitate performance-based and laboratory instruction. The classroom settings are enhanced by high tech equipment and resources, many of which were contributed by military, community, private, business, or non-profit organizations. All of our middle school students take at least one CTE elective course each year. Over 56% of STEMM’s students have earned one or more ICT and Microsoft industry certifications, including Web Design Essentials, Computing Essentials, Programming and Logic Essentials, and Introduction to Programming Using HTML5 and CSS. STEMM also offers many unique opportunities for other interests such a Drone Team, First Lego League, First Tech Challenge, Student Council, Student 2 Student, Philosophy Club, Anime Club, and Social Club.
Any student in Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa Counties may apply for admission to our middle school program. Okaloosa STEMM Academy is not part of the Controlled Open Enrollment process, enrolling students from all parts of Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa Counties. Students are selected for admission based on demonstration of exceptional promise in science and math (e.g., scoring in the upper quintile on standardized math and reading assessments) as well as personal attributes associated with an independent learner: perseverance, motivation, and a desire to excel. Students who attended an Okaloosa County school in 5th grade receive an invitation to attend STEMM Academy based on their performance on 4th or 5th grade standardized assessments, but students who do not receive an invitation may also apply. To apply, you must complete an application and provide an essay from both the student and the parent. Applications may be requested by contacting the front office.
The STEMM Academy has achieved A+ school ratings every year since it was founded in 2012.