Our Approach

The academic approach at the Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy is defined through our Pillars of Excellence:

Academic Opportunities

Scholars at Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy receive:

HBCU-Style High School

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a source of great accomplishment and pride for the Black community as well as the entire nation. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education] to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.”

HBCUs offer all scholars, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. We have known for years that scholars of color feel more at home and perform better in schools where they feel supported and safe.

For more than 150 years, HBCUs have been providing diverse learning environments — from scholars to faculty to administration — ensuring that every scholar has a chance to succeed. HBCUs exude strength in educating minorities, giving them economic opportunities and instilling great values. Not only have they consistently produced leaders in their communities and across the nation, but HBCUs today are consistently and affordably producing the leaders of the future.

Comprehensive STEAM Approach

STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. A STEAM approach to teaching and learning involves the use of integrated, hands-on lessons. Scholars are empowered to explore topics and make connections to real-life experiences.

The STEAM approach to provides standards-aligned instruction while creating opportunities for scholars to learn and apply requisite skills. Creative and critical thinking skills that are strengthened and easily transferred to high-demand 21st-century STEAM jobs and everyday life.

Project-Based Learning

Learning is more meaningful when academics are connected to authentic life experiences. Taking a more holistic approach through complex tasks that draw upon subject knowledge to solve real-world problems allows scholars to learn at deeper levels and demonstrate growth over time.

Enrichment Courses

Enrichment courses are offered three times a week to all scholars. These courses are offered during the school day and for credit. Courses include and are in partnership with:

  • National Security Agency
  • 500 Women Scientists
  • Greater Denver CARES Mentoring Movement
  • Girls, Inc.
  • Edify
  • Edgar L. Page: Feel the Movement
  • SCD Enrichment Program
  • Creative Writing
  • Vocal Ensemble