West Nottingham Academy

Science & Innovation

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At West Nottingham Academy, students develop 21st-century skills that they will need to thrive in college and in the ever-evolving workplace. Innovation is present in all parts of our college-preparatory curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, and the geographic hub of innovation on campus is our state-of-the-art 2,500-square-foot Innovation Center.

What is STEM?

Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM describes four overlapping subjects often linked together due to their similarities. With there being a greater need for scientists and engineers in the workforce, STEM is one of the fastest growing disciplines in academia, making it crucial for high schools to keep up with the times. Our continued focus on our Innovation Center and our Independent Study program puts WNA amongst the top STEM high schools as we continue to nurture our students’ desire to pursue independent research within their academics. Keep reading to learn more about how we’ve become one of the best STEM boarding schools.

Why is WNA the Best STEM Boarding School?

Our state of the art innovation center puts WNA amongst the best STEM boarding schools, allowing our students to specialize in whatever area of math and science interests them most. Students involved in the STEM independent research program have access to both the Innovation Center and science labs where they can further both their scientific exploration and innovation. Because of all these opportunities, WNA is recognized as one of the best boarding schools for math and science in Maryland. If you have any questions about our STEM independent study opportunities, visit our Independent Study page to learn more or contact our admissions office.

AI Integration in STEM Education:

At West Nottingham Academy, we are at the forefront of incorporating artificial intelligence into our STEM curriculum. Our state-of-the-art Innovation Center is not only a hub for scientific exploration and innovation but also a breeding ground for AI-driven projects. Students have the opportunity to engage with AI technologies, such as machine learning and data analytics, as part of their independent research and class projects. This unique integration of AI ensures that our students are well-prepared to excel in the rapidly evolving technological landscape and positions WNA as a leader in STEM education.

The Innovation Center

Opened in 2018, the Innovation Center provides resources for students to engage more deeply with classroom content through collaboration and project-based learning. The Innovation Center is fully equipped with professional-level digital media, 3D printers, a podcast studio, and hands-on prototyping equipment.

In the Innovation Center, students make deeper connections with the curriculum and with each other as they collaborate on class projects and extracurricular endeavors and make their ideas come to life.

  • In the 2019-2020 season, WNA’s 3 teams competed in Tower Takeover, and WNA hosted two qualifying tournaments at home in Ware Gymnasium, the most of any team in Delaware or Maryland.
  • Team 28724A: PowerPuff made it all the way to the semifinals in the Delmarva Regional Championship in Dover, DE.
  • Team 28724R: Azimuth qualified for the World Championship for the first time in program history.
  • Team 28724X: International Labor won two awards (Judges Award and Tournament Finalists) at the Springer Middle School tournament in Wilmington, DE.

Robotics Lab and VEX Robotics @ WNA

Each year, students on the robotics team develop the 21st century skills of communication and teamwork and learn technical skills including engineering design and embedded systems programming through competing in the VEX Robotics Competition. Team members of all experience levels collaborate to build a robot from scratch and program it to compete in each season’s game. The team competes at the highest level in the Delmarva region and qualified for the World Championship in 2020.


Students use the equipment in the makerspace, housed in the Innovation Center, for a variety of class projects. Our equipment includes:

  • MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printers
  • Epilog 50W laser cutter
  • Roland SG-300 vinyl printer
  • HP large format poster printer
  • A variety of hand tools to create and finish your projects!

Digital Multimedia Studios

The Innovation Center includes a movie studio complete with lights and a green screen, a dedicated podcasting studio, and VIVE virtual reality equipment for exploring places and concepts we can’t physically visit in class. Check out our podcasts The World Won’t Wait: Conversations on Climate Change by the Student Environmental Council and Access Science by the Principles of Science and Engineering class. See some digital projects by WNA students below!

Wood Shop

The wood shop, housed in our Innovation Center, is home to a bandsaw, drill press, compound miter saw, belt sander, and many hand tools students work with. The space is used to support a variety of course and campus projects. Check out the videos below of students demonstrating the use of the wood shop.