School of Science and Technology
Dr. Sheri Hanna
High School Chair of the School Science and Technology
Engineering and Robotics
Dr. Andrea Long, STEM
Middle School Chair of the School of Science and Technology
Middle School STEM
Our STEM Majors program focuses on project-based instruction and learning through experimentation. Students experience a hands-on approach to learning and will learn a curriculum focused on life experiences and real-world situations. The STEM Majors program leaders focus on creating cross-curricular educational opportunities for students.
Within the School of Science and Technology, all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students major in STEM. The STEM Majors program takes pride in learning through student choice, student-led inquiry-based projects, and hands-on/maker space experiences. Students are encouraged to explore competitive opportunities and/or design opportunities for student participation beyond the classroom.
Throughout 6th grade, we will travel through Earth and space to explore the scientific wonders of our world and worlds beyond. We begin with a review and application of basic scientific skills such as measurement and method. We then launch into our study of Astronomy thinking about Relativity and the role gravity plays in how time is experienced. While we're in the heavens, we learn details about our solar system, identify and classify stars within constellations depicting our knowledge in an embroidery representation using sewable electronics. We close our Astronomy study with learning about forces and aerodynamics through Rocketry.
The 7th grade STEM experience begins with microscopic life and builds in complexity to invertebrate life. Throughout this study, we will investigate how cells build to tissue and beyond to create such varied organisms while acknowledging similarities and differences between them. This study serves as a foundation to studying vertebrate life in 8th grade. Biomes and ecosystems are further investigated and analysis of owl pellets helps to explore how we can use an organism's remains, or dietary remains to clue us into the environment in which they live (or lived). We continue with Entomological studies to incorporate the roles of plant and invertebrate life within our community ecosystem.
Our 8th grade year focuses on the study of Ecology and the living world around us. Students start off the year by learning about the diversity in the animal kingdom. We continue to learn about this diversity through our anatomy unit, including dissections of invertebrates and vertebrates. During the second half of the year, students dive into human relationships with the living world around us, including biodiversity, human impacts, invasive species, and climate change.
In order to advance to the next STEM course and continue in the major, students in middle school must simply pass their grade level academic classes.
In high school, students will be given the opportunity in 10th grade to choose their STEM Major pathway for 11th and 12th grade. Students will choose either Life Science or Robotics and Engineering to finish off their high school education.
The STEM Majors program values external partnerships, student participation in science fairs and competitions, and parent involvement. Student opportunities for external partnerships and competitions are a great way for students to display their knowledge. In the coming year, we expect to host a parent night, where students can showcase their hard work in their STEM Major class.
Ms. Andrea Long
Ms. Long has been in the STEM Major’s program for 4 years. Her passion lies in Ecology, Environmental Science, Biology, and Entomology. Ms. Long likes to take a hands-on inquiry approach to learning, especially when it comes to student-choice experiments! She has created the curriculum for our 7th and 8th grade STEM classes, and has in the past taught 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades; she values when students take initiative and creativity to the next level! Ms. Long has her bachelors from SUNY Plattsburgh in Ecology, Biology, and Environmental Science, and her Master’s in Science Education from Temple University.
The Life Sciences & Biotechnology curriculum includes a foundation in laboratory and biomedical sciences, life sciences, environmental science and sustainability, and the social and ethical questions associated with advancements in these disciplines. Students learn to read, synthesize, and draw conclusions from scientific publications. Students develop the foundational knowledge to design and conduct their own biological experiments in response to relevant questions in the field.
Engineering & Robotics students receive a foundation in engineering design principles, CAD design, fabrication, computer science, robotics, and electrical and mechanical engineering. Students develop a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of robotics, as well as the scientific and mathematical principles upon which they are built. Courses are focused on concepts in engineering and programming to provide students with the foundational knowledge to examine, innovate, and create technology.