MMA Inducts Inaugural Members of National STEM Honor Society

MMA Inducts Inaugural Members of National STEM Honor Society

On May 19, Missouri Military Academy (MMA) inducted its first members into the Academy’s newly established National STEM Honor Society (NSTEM) chapter, recognizing high school cadets who excel in coursework for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The inaugural inductees included rising high school sophomores Cadet Erick Bond from Houston, TX; rising juniors Cadets Rafael Cruz from Garza García, Mexico, Michael Pfeifer from Mexico, Missouri; Mbaye Diagne from Bronx, NY, Ky-Mani Erskine from Phoenix, AZ,  Malachi Imrie from Wildwood, MO, and Jacob Pehle from Lake Saint Louis, MO; rising seniors Cadets Jancarlo Barajas from San Clemente, CA, Evan Batson from Santa Ynez, CA, Xiang Chen from Shanghai, China, Gabriel Iglesias-Osorio from Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador, and Bradley Thumbi from Overland Park, KS; and newly graduated members of MMA’s Class of 2023 Cadets Cyprian Mutinyu from Kampala, Uganda, and Derek Paredes from Port Saint Lucie, FL.

The NSTEM mission is to inspire innovation and recognize student excellence in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NSTEM was founded in response to the growing demand for innovative STEM education, providing students with opportunities to develop their passion for STEM disciplines and inspiring them to pursue these subjects as careers and as lifelong interests.

Missouri Military Academy cadets perform experiments in engineering class

Cadets Barajas and Yarte conduct an engineering experiment in the Barnard Hall atrium, spring 2023.

To qualify for membership in MMA’s NSTEM chapter in spring 2023, cadets must have completed four STEM courses within an academic year and earned a grade of B or higher in each course. During the 2023-24 academic year, cadets must meet the following requirements to earn NSTEM membership: completion of three STEM courses with a grade of B or higher; a minimum of 4 STEM enrichment activities, such as STEM field trips, campus STEM competitions, STEM movie night, STEM science fairs, etc.; and must achieve an ACT benchmark score of 23 in science, 22 in math or 26 in STEM. Middle school and high school cadets are eligible for membership in the chapter.

This year, five MMA’s Class of 2023 graduates were accepted to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), ranked fifth in the nation according to Money’s “Best Colleges for Engineering Majors.”

MMA teacher Chris Schafer, Cadets Yarte and Didicher wear Missouri S&T shirts

Missouri Military Academy teacher Chris Schafer, an alumnus of Missouri S&T, with Cadets Yarte and Didicher, two graduates of MMA's Class of 2023 who will attend Missouri S&T in fall 2023. Both Yarte and Didicher attended the Missouri S&T Jackling Introduction to Engineering summer camp earlier in their high school careers, thanks to support from an anonymous donor.

Missouri S&T is also MMA’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) partner school. Each year, thanks to a scholarship anonymously supported by an MMA alumnus, select freshmen, sophomore and junior MMA cadets interested in the STEM field can attend the Missouri S&T Jackling Introduction to Engineering summer camp for free. 

MMA’s NSTEM Chapter Director is Dean of Academics Mike Harding and Science Department Chair Major Michael Pemberton. MMA faculty member Chris Schafer ’89 serves as the MMA NSTEM chapter advisor.

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