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04 August . 2021

STEM Schools vs. International Baccalaureate (IB) Schools

STEM or IB School? Differences & Advantages Parents Need to Know

Life in Estrella includes providing the best possible education for children of all ages. The importance of STEM and International Baccalaureate (IB) academics is reflected in three excelling schools within the Estrella community. Both STEM and IB schools incorporate rigorous academics, exceptional teaching, and a wide range of sports and clubs for students. The schools in the Estrella community include options for STEM or IB learning, preparing students for the careers and realities of the modern world.

STEM schools break away from traditional education models using hands-on activities and active learning. STEM students focus on four areas of study: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, in addition to other classes. Course materials and student projects and exercises demonstrate how STEM is used in real-life applications, allowing STEM students to experience the wonders of the world and technology firsthand. Merging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM education helps us to solve the challenges the world faces today.

Children of all ages will enjoy all the advantages STEM education has to offer to them.

International Baccalaureate or IB students are part of a global community of schools. IB school programs are different from other curricula because they:

  • encourage students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions
  • develop independently of government and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and a global community of schools
  • encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts
  • develop multilingual students


IB Student
s & Schools in Estrella
Estrella Mountain Elementary K-8: As an International Baccalaureate World School, Estrella Mountain Elementary is part of a global community of schools committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people and a curriculum designed to help them negotiate their futures successfully. Also, a very involved PTA helps seal the bond between parents, teachers, and children to make popular events like the annual talent show and the school carnival fundraiser possible. Estrella Mountain Elementary School serves kindergarten through eighth grade.

Estrella Foothills High School (EFHS): By staying within the community, students can easily transition to high school when attending Estrella Foothills High School. Committed to delivering an enriching experience, EFHS promotes a model of educational excellence and recognition based upon its ability to meet the needs of its students.

STEM Students & Schools in Estrella
Westar Elementary School K-8: STEM students from kindergarten through eighth grade will maximize their education at Westar. In 2011, the school shifted its focus to become a magnet school for the STEM Program. Westar facilities include a state-of-the-art science wing equipped with laboratories and additional classrooms.

STEM education can continue in a secure and creative place to grow at Estrella Foothills High School. Estrella Foothills High School (EFHS) is part of the Buckeye Union High School District. The school offers multiple learning paths to prepare students for higher education, essential literacies, and careers. Committed to delivering an enriching experience, EFHS serves as a model of educational excellence and recognition based upon its superior ability to meet the needs of students. A unique block schedule also empowers students to complete the necessary courses for high school graduation and university entrance. The state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, championship sports teams, and world-class Robotics Club are popular with STEM students and parents, too.

Click here for more information on the importance of IB from a global perspective.
Want to learn more about the importance of STEM schools and programs? Click here.