At Notre Dame Preparatory School, we take studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to a new level with STEAM: STEM + Art = STEAM.

Research conducted at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), funded by the National Science Foundation, demonstrates the interrelationship between STEM and art education. Creativity is at the core of all STEAM fields, whether it is the creativity involved in research, engineering, design or problem solving.

Of note, the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering named NDP a Top Engineering Source School, and the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland recognized NDP as an Emerging Leader.

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  • What Distinguishes STEAM at NDP from other High Schools?

    Notre Dame’s STEAM program creates awareness, sparks interest, and builds confidence in girls for STEAM subjects. In freshman year, students pursue a broad range of liberal arts, college preparatory courses while familiarizing themselves with NDP's STEAM offerings. With NDP’s unique phasing system and state-of-the-art classroom spaces, students study in areas that are interesting to them and that appropriately challenge their abilities. In addition, a dedicated Upper Level STEAM Coordinator and a STEAM Center allow students to delve into design-build projects and gain hands-on experience with tools and technology.

    NDP graduates serve as online mentors for engineering students, and visiting engineer lecturers complement coursework, leading Middle and Upper Level students in design/build activities as well as providing a glimpse of the opportunity STEAM professions hold for women.

    Extracurricular activities, such as the Robotics Club, CyberPatriots, and Student Technology Advisors (STArs), offer hands-on, engaging activities in which students can apply STEAM learning. For example, each year engineering students create theatrical magic when they design and construct sets for the school's musicals, including The Little Mermaid, Frozen JR., and Once on this Island. Outside of the classroom, NDP offers numerous opportunities for real-life learning, including field trips, shadow days, and internships.

    For more information about STEAM at NDP, contact the Admissions Department at or 410-825-0590.
  • Core & Elective STEAM Courses

    • Computer Programming (for freshmen)
    • Introduction to Engineering (for sophomores)
    • Design/Build Engineering (for juniors and seniors)
    • Introduction to Computer Science
    • Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, and Advanced Placement (AP) Science Courses
    • Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, and AP Mathematics and Economics Courses
    • Digital Media I, II, and III
    • Architecture, Digital Photography, and AP Art Courses
  • NDP Maintains STEAM Partnerships with Numerous Organizations

    • Ciena
    • Coty
    • Exelon
    • Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University
    • Knott Mechanical
    • National Aquarium in Baltimore
    • Northrop Grumman
    • Notre Dame of Maryland University
    • Praxis Gaming
    • Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland
    • Stanley Black & Decker
    • University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
    • Washington Pediatric Hospital
    • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

The Bette Ellis O’Conor Humanities Program

The Bette Ellis O’Conor Humanities Program is a community of scholars at Notre Dame Preparatory School dedicated to intellectual pursuit that transcends the boundaries of usual study. The program integrates curricula that are normally separated, allowing students to study in a collegial and dynamic environment that elicits passion for ideas and learning. An exciting alternative course of study in which interdisciplinary connections and project-based learning are the goal, the Humanities Program allows students to explore the relationships between disciplines, particularly Art, English, Music, Religion and Social Studies. Examining critical issues and ideas, the program encourages dialogue and diversity of perspective.

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  • Freshman Pre-Humanities

    During freshman year, all students are introduced to interdisciplinary study in their World Cultures classes. Art enrichment activities demonstrate the rich possibility of investigating a topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives, thereby allowing students to choose whether the program is the right choice for their learning styles.
  • Sophomore Humanities

    Sophomore students in the program embark on a journey of American studies. Joining Social Studies and English curricula, the course challenges students to consider the nature of America and how the relationship among art, literature, history, music, and religion has shaped both the nation and its inhabitants.
  • Junior Humanities

    Shifting to a focus on the world, the junior year couples a study of world religions and world literature, allowing each to give insight into the other. Students study the global society in which they live, seeking the knowledge and wisdom such a global view provides.
  • Senior Year -- Capstone

    The Humanities Capstone course is the senior English class for students in the program. At the end of Junior year, students collectively choose a focus of study, giving them the power to shape their own intellectual path. Whether the topic is the nature of evil, the purpose of art, the role of fear, or the experience of time, students explore deeply a concept of particular interest to the class. In the second semester students complete a capstone project which allows them to incorporate their specific interests in responding to the key elements of the course topic. Paired with a faculty mentor for the project, each student challenges the holistic faculties she has developed throughout the program and embarks upon the kind of scholarship and collaboration that is normally reserved for college courses.
  • Culmination of Humanities Program

    The Humanities Program experience ends with an evening presentation in May to which parents, administrators, and the benefactors of the program are invited. Students present a summary of their projects and have them displayed in the lobby for viewing. At that time, students are given certificates of participation in the program.

Biliteracy Certification Recognition

Students who receive a Biliteracy Recognition Certificate have demonstrated intermediate-high proficiency in Spanish, French, or Mandarin. Focusing on writing, listening, reading, and speaking, this recognition indicates that recipients are able to interact with native speakers in everyday situations. Recognition often also enables students to enroll in higher-level language courses as college freshmen.

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  • Spanish

    The Upper Level program provides a minimum of six years of consecutive study of Spanish courses. These include:
    • AP Spanish Language and Culture
    • AP Spanish Literature and Culture
    • Spanish for Today
    • Conversational Spanish
    • Spanish IV Culture and Civilization
    • Spanish VI—20th Century Iberoamerican Literature
  • French

    The Upper Level program provides a minimum of six years of consecutive study of French courses. These include:
    • French IV
    • French V
    • French VI--19th and 20th Century Francophone Literature
    • AP French Language and Culture
    • Conversational French 
  • Chinese

    The Upper Level program provides a minimum of five years of consecutive study of Chinese including AP Chinese Language and Culture.

Notre Dame Preparatory School

An Independent, Catholic Girls School, Grades 6-12, Sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame