STEM Concentration

In support of the School's Mission Statement, Tampa Prep offers an interdisciplinary STEM Concentration for rising 10th grade students who relish the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This concentration requires students to select classes from a body of relevant coursework that lies at the heart of the interdisciplinary focus. In addition, students are asked to participate in one of several extracurricular activities that complement the program. Participants must also attend a manageable selection of related events. The underlying goal is to equip graduating students with a range of experiences that prepare them for further opportunities in these fields, while also completing Tampa Prep’s graduation requirements. Students who successfully complete all requirements for a Concentration will be recognized at graduation.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND CURRICULUM CRITERIA: STEM

1. Application and acceptance into the STEM Concentration
2. Completion of the core curriculum
3. Regular participation in an approved activity
4. Must attend all scheduled on-campus events and one off-campus event each semester
5. Completion and presentation of an approved culminating research project
6. Undertake a STEM-oriented Senior Internship
7. Maintain a minimum overall unweighted 3.0 GPA in STEM courses
8. All exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the STEM Committee


1. Application

  • Rising 10th grade students must submit an application to the STEM Committee, stating their desire to participate in the Concentration and agreeing to the terms of the program
  • Applicants must at least be entering into Advanced Algebra 2 in 10th grade
  • Applicants must have demonstrated a high level of success and responsibility in prior math and science classes

2. Participating students must complete the following core curriculum by graduation:

  • Math
    • Algebra 1
    • Geometry
    • Advanced Algebra 2
    • Advanced Precalculus
    • Calculus or AP Calculus AB
  • Science (at least four credits)
    • Biology
    • Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry or AP Chemistry
    • Physics, Advanced Physics or AP Physics
    • At least one AP science course
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Introduction to Engineering Design
    • Principles of Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering OR Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Art
    • At least one half-credit Visual Arts course

3. Students must be a regular, yearly participant in ONE of the following activities:

  • Electronics Club
  • Environment Club
  • Math Club/ Mu Alpha Theta
  • National Science Honor Society
  • Robotics Club
  • Science Olympiad

4. Students must attend all scheduled on-campus STEM events and at least one off-campus event each semester

  • There will be a variety of offerings each semester
  • After each event students must submit an artifact from the event (if off-campus) and a written reflection of the event to the STEM Committee

5. Students must complete a culminating STEM Research Project as part of the Engineering Design and Development course

  • Students must present their research in a public forum

6. Students must pursue a STEM-oriented Senior Internship

7. Maintain a minimum overall unweighted 3.0 GPA in STEM courses

Application Process

2018-19 APPLICATIONS are now CLOSED.

Candidates for the STEM Program are required to:
  1. Receive permission from Mr. KK Quah (kkquah@tampaprep.org) to enroll in the Intro to Engineering Design course.
  2. Read the Program overview and curriculum criteria.
  3. Complete the STEM Applicaiton form.
  4. Submit one recommendation from a Math or Science teacher. Please direct references to the STEM Recommendation form.

Please direct any questions about these requirements to Ms. Suzanne Morrow at smorrow@tampaprep.org or 813.251.8481 x4026.

ALUMNUS SUCCESS STORY

“Two years in the STEM program at Prep changed my life. A lot. I can’t imagine what three years in the program would’ve done for me!”

PEDRO LIMA, CLASS OF 2014

Pedro Lima was a junior at the inception of Tampa Prep’s STEM Concentration, which means he missed being one of the first graduates with that recognition by just one year. But true to engineering form, he worked with the parts he had, and built something magical with it.

Lima admits that engineering wasn’t even on his radar until his junior year of high school when he learned about robotics. “My first taste of engineering was being on the robotics team,” he says. “Just being on that team with other people . . . that collaboration factor drew me in really quickly.” From there he learned about applied mathematics and applied sciences, “which is now what I really enjoy doing,” he says.

With just two years of STEM-focused studies with instructor KK Quah, Lima was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s engineering program. “I entered CMU as a freshman clear on my decision to be an electrical and computer engineering major,” says Lima. “Doing STEM with KK (Quah) helped me decide that before I ever stepped foot on campus.”

Lima chose electrical engineering as a path because of the spread that exists within the major. “There are a lot of things you can do within that degree,” he says. “It’s a lot of hands-on work that is electrical-related, computers, and thinking. A lot of thinking.”

During the summers, Lima has been working--and thinking--at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA, realizing a lifelong dream.

“It has been a dream of mine to work for Disney since I was a little kid,” he says. “I thought I wanted to be on the creative side, but after being in engineering courses I discovered I wanted to be on more of the technical side.” So Lima has spent the past summer as a software engineer at Imagineering, testing design and implementation of software for ride systems. It’s a job he hopes will become full time when he completes his masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which he begins at Carnegie Mellon in spring of 2019.

Though Lima and his fellow classmates in the Class of 2014 weren’t able to complete the STEM Concentration, they all wish they could have. “Two years in the STEM program at Prep changed my life. A lot. I can’t imagine what three years in the program would’ve done for me!”