Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3-D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem-solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development. They apply math, science, and standard engineering practices to design both residential and commercial projects and document their work using 3-D architectural design software.
Emphasis is on the scientific method, basic chemical principles, chemical calculations, problem-solving, and laboratory methods. Descriptive chemistry is undertaken where necessary for course continuity. Inquiry teaching strategies are used wherever possible. Use of calculators and computers is encouraged in solving assigned problems throughout the school year. Students who plan scientific careers are encouraged and expected to elect Chemistry 2 (4415) as a necessary follow-up for this introductory course.
STEM Physics students will explore and learn about motion and forces using vector mathematics. Students will apply the laws of conservation of energy and momentum to solve challenging engineering problems. Investigations in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics will enable students to build their own understanding of difficult physics concepts. Students will design their own laboratory investigation to collect and analyze data as they work their way to success in understanding and quantifying vibrations. Wave motion and sound explorations will introduce students to the fundamentals of waves. Finally, electricity and magnetism will be studied independently and then intertwined to form the electromagnetic wave we know as light, itself. The pace will be rapid and facilitated by a flipped classroom and independent learning where appropriate.
Process skills, lab investigative techniques, and basic concepts learned in earlier science courses are used and expanded in the study of plant and animal life, the environment, structural ecology, and functional differences, and heredity. If taken in ninth-grade student must have an A/B average in previous science courses and teacher recommendations.
Investigations in Science and Biomimetics
This elective college preparatory course will focus on a variety of science themes (earth, physical, and biological) throughout the year with a recurring emphasis on the field of biomimetics. Emphasis will be placed on individual and small group laboratory activities and outdoor educational opportunities including one or more field trips to local natural areas related to the course content.
STEM Algebra 2
This course extends the concepts learned in Algebra 1 and stresses applications and problem-solving. Topics include a quick review of Algebra 1 including expressions, equations, and order of operations. Then, an in-depth study of Algebra 2 is taught. These topics include graphing and writing linear equations and direct variation. Inequalities are studied including solving and graphing. For the first time, absolute value equations and inequalities are introduced and considered. Systems of linear equations are reviewed followed by a more in-depth analysis. Systems of linear inequalities are introduced and mastered. Quadratic equations and the various methods to solving them are explored followed by quadratic inequalities. From there, functions and relations are covered preparing the student for Trigonometry and Algebra 3
This course builds on the knowledge obtained in Advanced Algebra 1 or Algebra 1. This course begins with the study of analytic and coordinate geometry. Topics include a review of slope, determining an equation of a line, parallel and perpendicular lines, simplifying radicals and distance and midpoint formulas. A review of solving systems of equations is then covered. After this quick review of Algebra, the fundamentals of geometry are taught. Postulates for segments, angles, points, lines, and planes are introduced. Next, styles of proofs are studied followed by the properties of parallel lines. Triangles and their properties are studied in-depth along with their theorems. At this point, proofs are introduced. This abstract concept is then carried on throughout the remainder of the course. Polygons are studied exhaustively including identification of parts, classifying, theorems, properties, and proofs. Similarity is introduced and taught regarding triangles as well as right triangles. The course concludes with a comprehensive study of circles along with perimeter and area of polygons. Surface area and volume of three-dimensional figures are reviewed. Problem-solving strategies are introduced early on and carried throughout the course
SOCIAL STUDIES COURSES
STEM U.S. History 1
At this grade level, the prescribed course of study in United States History deals primarily with the economic, political, social, and cultural growth of the United States from 1754 to 1877. This course also includes an examination of the theory of government inherent in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other historical documents as they relate to an understanding of our American heritage as well as their reflections in present-day America. Students will use current events to relate themes of the past with the present and increase their understanding of the influences of other nations on the United States. They will examine major conflicts, the settlement of western lands, and its impact on the growth and identity of this country. The Interpretation of Primary Documents, the accessing of prior knowledge, and utilization of recently learned materials will be combined to familiarize students with writing in the style of a certain historical period A strong emphasis will be on the development of reading comprehension skills as well as writing, speaking, and listening skills
STEM U.S. History 2
Tenth grade Social Studies requires the study of American History from Reconstruction to the Twenty-First Century. It focuses on different themes in history from Industrialization to the Present Day. Students will learn the economic, political, social, and cultural changes brought about in various time periods and how they relate to the growth and expansion of this great country. They will analyze the changing of American foreign policy from isolationist to interventionist. Readings, writings, and discussions will be used to examine in full the causes and effects of warfare on the United States with an emphasis on the home front and major battles home and abroad. The impact of minority groups and their changing roles and struggles in society will be explored along with the current events going on in our country and the world. Students will be assessed in a variety of ways both formal and informal through research papers, group discussion, and debate while meeting state standards that cross a variety of curriculums.
STEM Adv. English 9
Students follow the previously explained criteria of Ninth Grade English, as they read, write, listen, speak, research, use technology, and participate in collaborative learning strategies at an accelerated rate. Integrated Language Arts becomes a solid holistic foundation for student exploration of literature. A variety of reading/writing experiences develop skills with cause-effect relationships, vocabulary development, and usage, critical thinking (concepts, content, composition). Analysis, synthesis, and problem solving techniques complement the reading-writing features of the course and become assimilated into student discussion.
STEM Adv. English 10
Previous knowledge and skills continue to build with the Tenth Grade Advanced English Program. Reading American literature selections from numerous authors of our American heritage generates student ideas and written responses to literature. The Reader Response Journal, process writing assignments, and Writing Assessment complemented by writing instruction, with emphasis on revision strategies, synthesize a multiplicity of formats for student expression. Students study the various American Historical settings within the framework of the literature, similar to College Preparatory English.
STEM Adv. English 12
The Advanced English Program reaches its zenith of quality with the senior study of world literature. Within a varied integrated language arts framework, students read authors from all ages in multicultural settings throughout the world: the East (Sumerian, Egyptian, and Hebrew); Asia (India, Chinese, and Japan); Classical (Greece, Roman); Europe (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Rationalism, Romanticism, and Realism); Twentieth Century (Modern and Contemporary)
- U.S. Government