Innovation in the Upper School

The Rutgers Prep Innovation Program is a yearlong, in-depth exploration of creative problem-solving and collaborative learning. Students in 8th to 12th grades will embark on their choice of nine different programs, led by expert faculty with the additional support of local professionals and enthusiastic alumni. Our goal is to extend the learning our students have traditionally achieved in our classrooms to real-world application.

Our teachers have developed exciting and memorable opportunities that will encourage Rutgers Prep students to follow their passions and even discover new ones.

Upper School Innovation Programs

A yearlong, in-depth exploration of creative problem-solving and collaborative learning. Students embark on their choice of thirteen different programs, led by expert faculty with the additional support of local professionals and enthusiastic alumni. Our goal is to extend the learning our students have traditionally achieved in our classrooms to real-world application.

The Argonaut Invitational

The Argonaut Invitational is a set of organized intraschool tournaments centered around two different eSports: Rocket League & Hearthstone. Through competition in gaming, students will learn teamwork, communication, adaptability, strategy, creativity, and complex problem-solving.

Beyond Bindu: Art, Culture, and History of India

Beyond Bindu will take students on a tour of Indian Culture, through presentations and guided tours by Professors from Rutgers University and Parsons School of Design, on topics ranging from Modern Indian Art and Culture to Epic Tales of India to Bollywood. The culmination of this Innovation will be a gallery opening that will include masterpieces created by small student groups.

Business & Entrepreneurship

This program exposes students to skills required to become a successful entrepreneur, encouraging a self-starter mentality and teaching tangible and practical business skills. The series of workshops will cover the topics of Idea Generation, Finance, Marketing & P.R., and Operations, culminating with a “demo day,” when students who have successfully completed a business plan are able to present their businesses to the community. 11th and 12th graders will also be able to take advantage of a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy and Schoolyard Ventures by way of a 13-week, online Social Innovators Program, for which students will receive a Social Entrepreneurship Certificate from UPenn.

Creation, Preservation, and History of Design in Ukraine

Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of historic architecture and design, through a focus on Ukrainian Sacral Arts. A combination of research plus hands on activities will pave the way for an opportunity to travel to Ukraine in the spring to witness preservation firsthand and to document historic sites.


GIVE’NAPP is a Rutgers Prep Innovation that allows students to use their software engineering skills to give back to our community while documenting the experience. Working in teams, students will “give an app” to a local non-profit organization in need of one and chronicle the process via video documentary.

Inspiration, Perspiration, Creation

This program gives students the opportunity to define, explore, and develop, workshop, and share creative projects of their own design. Students will have the chance to focus on their own artistic growth in a wide range of media and art forms, give and receive feedback, and share their work with a wider audience.

Materials Science Innovation

This program is for students interested in pursuing materials science at an advanced level. Students will conduct research projects with professors and universities outside of Rutgers Prep, including on the design of a wind belt in collaboration with the Mazzeo Group of Rutgers University College of Engineering. Others in the program will create a public relations campaign in order to promote this program on various social media channels in conjunction with the School.

Re-Imagining the School Store

Students will endeavor to learn about the retail business using the school store as a case study. Topics covered will include: visual merchandising, branding, store layout and design, purchasing, marketing, and the shopping experience. Through research, analysis, creative brainstorming, and insight from experts, students will develop a plan for an enhanced campus school store and create a fully operational online school store.

Sir Isaac's Army

This Innovation Program will challenge highly motivated students who like to tinker with their hands and are curious about the world around them. Students will compete in both the New Jersey Physics Olympics, at which teams compete in designing and building innovative and creative machines, and the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics, a one-day competition designed to test the knowledge of talented high school chemistry students in NJ.

Sports Analytics

We live in a world of increasingly big data and information, and students will need to learn how to mine data when they graduate from Rutgers Prep. In addition to learning how to analyze data, it is essential for students to continue to develop their thinking and writing skills, and this program will give them an avenue to use their creativity to pursue both of these ends. Students will answer the kinds of questions that teams, leagues and sports owners are grappling with and will be introduced to statistical techniques used in sports analytics.


In this program, students will become Technology Integrators, learning various technologies and how to incorporate them into classroom lessons. Some of these technologies include coding apps, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies, and robotics. Students will teach (or co-teach) a Lower or Middle School class by using a lesson plan that they created and integrates technology into a classroom unit.


TEDxRutgersPrep will be a day filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking video and mind-blowing conversations. At this event, students will create a unique gathering in their community that will unleash new ideas, inspire and inform. They will coordinate a suite of talks, demonstrations, and performances that are idea-focused and cover a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and ultimately provoke conversations that matter.


One option for this program is a deep dive into environmental or biological research. Students will ask a question, design an experiment and carry it out, culminating in competing at the iPlay America Science Fair in June (environmental projects may be eligible to present at a NASA-GLOBE conference as well). The second option is a chance to participate in the Biology Olympiad test in February, using Innovation Program time to prepare. After the exam, students will spend the remainder of the year participating in a NASA-sponsored study project, hunting for invertebrates and assessing water quality in local rivers.

Middle School Ideas and Innovations

Twice a week, Middle School students head to an Ideas & Innovations course (I&I). I&I courses, which change four times a year, offer an opportunity for students to select a class and try something new. In all I&I courses, there are mixed groups of students in grades six, seven, and eight. I&I courses are taught by instructors who are excited about the subject they have chosen to teach. Students are able to select from the following courses:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Chinese Language & Culture
  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Media Production
  • Financial Literacy
  • Mad Learn App Development
  • Sports Analytics
  • Yearbook Production
I&I learning is hands-on, interactive, and student-led. From the structure of a Chinese character to the worm digestion track and practical design applications, students in our I&I classes are seeing and doing.