Alumni Spotlight

Building confidence through STEM

Teacher Leadership graduate builds the confidence of her students through STEM.

With a lifelong love for math and science, Teacher Leadership ALUMNUS Stephanie McRoberts encourages her students to “keep going” through the creation of a comprehensive STEM program within her school. (Photo Credit: James Silvestri)

icon of a calendarMarch 5, 2021

icon of a pencilBy James Silvestri

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As a full-time teacher at Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, MI, Stephanie McRoberts has always had a love for math and science and has made it her goal to share that love with her students. 

“I love helping young women realize that it’s not perfection which makes someone great, it’s the drive to keep going,” McRoberts said. 

To continue fostering her passion and to better serve her students, she earned a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership degree from OU in 2015. 

“I was really drawn to the program’s hybrid format and having a mixture of online and face-to-face classes. I was in my third year of teaching full-time and this was the ideal program for me.”

While working closely with Dr. Cynthia Carver, Associate Professor during her last semester of the program, McRoberts completed a capstone change project aimed around building female student’s confidence in STEM. 

“As coordinator of the program, I get to directly coach students in their capstone change projects. As a result, I see the growth and transformation of our students over time,” Carver said. “It's remarkable to see their increased confidence and willingness to advocate for children, families and the profession.”

Through her project, McRoberts was able to identify one of the biggest impacts on female student’s interest in STEM. 

“My research showed that extracurricular activities and close relationships with adults passionate about math and science had the biggest impact on female students’ interest and confidence in STEM educational and career paths.” 

This research led to the successful creation of a comprehensive STEM Program at Marian High School where McRoberts teaches. There are now five STEM related clubs/teams at Marian: 

  • STEM Club: students participate in STEM related activities and projects, including at least one field trip each semester
  • Forensics Science Team: students competes in local Forensic Science competitions
  • Robotics Team: students competes in local and state robotics competitions
  • Marian Medical Club: students are given a strong focuses on healthcare
  • Friends of the Earth: students focus on environmental science and helps take care of the school gardens

In addition, for the past 5 years, Marian High School has hosted a STEM Week. Each STEM related class participates in an experiment and each STEM teacher hosts a before or after school activity of their choosing. Topics have ranged from 3D printing, coding, programming, paper airplane competitions, code breaking, the probability of winning at Roulette, bungee jumping doll experiments, catapult competitions, etc.

The largest event during STEM week is the STEM Career Night in which alumni, parents, and other members of the community showcase their STEM related degrees and careers. The night starts with a keynote presentation from a Marian alum and is followed by an open house style approach for students to talk with the presenters about their experiences in STEM. The most recent event showcased over 30 presenters. 

McRoberts’ goal as an educator has always been to help her students and encourage them to “keep going.” Earning her M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership gave her the knowledge and confidence to create an entire STEM program at her school and bring that goal to life. 

To learn more about OU’s Master of Education in Teacher Leadership program, visit

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