The STEM Academy- All you need to know

Aden Jaeger, Staff Writer

 

Pre-STEM Physical Science teacher, Mr. Blank, performs an experiemnt for students in class. The experiemnts purpose was to exhibit and examine chemical reactions.
Pre-STEM Physical Science teacher, Mr. Blank, performs an experiemnt for students in class. The experiemnts purpose was to exhibit and examine chemical reactions.

Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School offers many academies that allow students to specialize further in fields that they plan to work in. One of these is known as the STEM Academy, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The academy’s mission is to ignite, excite, and prepare their finest STEM students for a future career.

The STEM Academy consists of many strands that allow students to study their particular interests. These include a computer science strand, engineering strand, architecture strand, biomedical strand, and a general strand for students who do not yet know the specific field that they wish to major in.

Students can take a variety of honors courses relating to the strand they chose. For example, the Molecular Genetics Honors Course or possibly the Architecture Honors Course. Furthermore, students will complete research or receive hands-on experience in their chosen strand.

In addition to the many strands offered, the STEM Academy has an internship program. Faith Lutheran is partnered with UNLV, UNR, Nevada Energy, local engineering firms, tech companies, and medical facilities, all of which provide students with experience and information in their field of interest.

Some other opportunities that the STEM Academy proposes include field trips, product development, authentic workforce research, student presentations, and even listening to guest speakers.

Faith Lutheran offers a STEM Endorsement for students as well. The endorsement announces to universities that the student has completed a well-rounded, rigorous program in math and science. It also states the student’s competence in their chosen strand.

The STEM Academy does require a certain GPA to enter and remain a part of the program. Invitations for the engineering, architecture, biomedical, and general strands are sent every January to freshmen and sophomores who have maintained at least a ninety percent in an honors math or science course, or at least a ninety-five percent in a regular math or science course. To receive an invitation for these strands, the student must also have a 4.0 GPA.

Invitations for the computer science strand are sent to freshmen and sophomores who have maintained at least a 3.75 GPA. The student must have received a recommendation from a computer science teacher to enter as well.

Faith Lutheran also has a program that allows Middle School students to become involved in STEM, known as Pre-STEM. Middle School students are invited to take Pre-STEM Earth Science during their seventh grade year, Pre-STEM Physical Science during their eighth grade year, and Pre-STEM Robotics during their seventh or eighth grade year.

Conner Paquette, an eight grade student taking Pre-STEM Physical Science, was interviewed about his experience and opinions of the class.

Conner said, “…Mr. Blank is a fun teacher and I enjoy learning about Chemistry…Two lessons ago he did this trick with a light and he created a figure eight, and he broke a bunch of fruits because he froze them with liquid nitrogen…He makes the tests hard but they’re also easy at the same time it just depends if you study and if you actually get the subject.”

Overall, the STEM Academy is a great way for high school students to further prepare for the careers that they plan to pursue. The program also provides the students with inspiration, and aids them in deciding what fields they enjoy. If interested in science, technology, engineering, or math, students should consider joining the STEM Academy in high school or the Pre-STEM Academy in Middle School.