The founders of BDJ STEM include Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy, Mr. Carl Stokes, Mr. Edwin Johnson, a former elected official and Mr. Kevin Parson, a long-time Baltimore City public schools administrator. The founders of Bluford Drew Jemison Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Academy applied to the Baltimore City Public School System to operate an all-male public charter middle school beginning with the fall 2007 school year with the goal to increase the number of Baltimore City public school male students who are prepared to matriculate at high achieving secondary schools. The application to operate was approved by the BCPSS Board in 2006. In 2009, the school system granted the Board of Directors of BDJ STEM the opportunity to operate a transformation middle/high school beginning in 2009 in West Baltimore.
Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy is named for Guion "Guy" S. Bluford, Jr., retired Colonel from the United States Air Force, former NASA Astronaut, and first African American in space; Charles Drew, (1904-1950) physician and medical researcher developed the method for preserving and reconstituting blood and the system for storing blood plasma (blood bank); and Dr. Mae C. Jemison, physician, retired NASA astronaut, and the first African American woman to travel in space; three African Americans who have made significant contributions to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics realms.