First New Orleans high school to become Cognia STEM Certified

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After successfully completing a rigorous evaluation process, Mount Carmel Academy has become the first school in New Orleans to receive STEM Certification by Cognia.

Senior Margo Flores tests the structural integrity of her group’s noodle bridge by adding various weights in Introduction to Engineering class.

NEW ORLEANS –– Mount Carmel Academy has become the first high school in New Orleans to earn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Certification by Cognia (a merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress).

This achievement is a mark of distinction and excellence only offered to highly effective institutions that have successfully integrated STEM education. Cognia STEM Certification is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs. 

“We are pleased to be a Cognia STEM Certified School,” said MCA principal Beth Ann Simno. “This recognition exhibits Mount Carmel Academy’s commitment to preparing our students with the STEM skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their post-secondary pursuits and the workforce.

“Using the Cubs Create Design Cycle for the last five years, our students have examined problems on the local and global level, imagined new and inventive solutions, and collaborated to bring ideas to life,” Simno continued.

“Our certification will uphold our school to the highest standards in STEM education as we continue to evolve and expand our programs.”


Senior Margaret Dunn creates a stop-motion animation to explain the process of photosynthesis in AP Biology.

In order to earn STEM Certification, MCA had to demonstrate adherence to the Cognia STEM framework as reflected by the school’s performance across 16 rigorous STEM standards, including the review of classroom projects, professional development programs for faculty members, school-wide ventures, and extracurricular offerings that exemplified quality STEM education and real-world integration.

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