# STEAM

STEAM is the study of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, engaging students more deeply, improving their science and math knowledge, and giving them the tools to communicate more effectively.

## Overview

Our academic classes emphasize interdisciplinary thinking, project-based learning, and student constructions of understanding. We believe that STEAM skills and mindset give our students an advantage in the 21st century creative economy.

The STEAM Lab, opened in 2014, is a maker space and fabrication lab, where students explore the connections between the arts, science, and math, and incorporate new technology into their projects. Using a 3-D printer, a laser cutter, soft circuitry, conductive materials, and electro-mechanical devices, students are integrating robotics, TouchBoards, and electronics into motion, music, imagery, and new media production.

## Course Offerings

BAA requires graduating seniors to have taken four Math courses and three lab Science courses.

**Geometry**

This course is taken by all ninth graders. Students gain an in-depth understanding of Geometry. Students who successfully complete this course go on to study Algebra. An assessment is administered at the end of ninth grade along with a teacher review of each student’s performance to assess whether the student requires summer school for additional support. Students who have previously taken Algebra I are offered the opportunity to take the Algebra I final exam in the spring of their ninth grade year to be placed into Advanced Algebra as a tenth grader. STEAM projects include the study of Cubist Art, and digital creation of a piece inspired by it, and using both geometry and trigonometry to digitally create a lighting design for a current BAA production.

**Algebra I **

This course is taken by most tenth graders. Students in Algebra I develop an understanding of linear systems, introductory statistics, quadratic functions, exponential functions, and their real-world applications. In this course, students prepare for the tenth-grade Mathematics MCAS. STEAM foci include a Shark Tank-like presentation to outside evaluators of a creative product.

**Advanced Algebra**

Advanced Algebra builds on the understanding of functions acquired in the previous courses. Students who successfully complete this course will be prepared for a college-level math course. In three main units (statistics, functions, and trigonometry), Advanced Algebra focuses on how math functions can be used to make predictions in various contexts and explores the question: What makes a good prediction?

**Twelfth Grade Math Options **

The senior math curriculum is a rigorous preparation for further study of mathematics at the college level.

Probability and Statistics: *Students engage in group problem solving and mathematical research. Students will also use an interdisciplinary STEAM lens to study math topics, which may include statistics, discrete mathematics, and financial math. *

AP Statistics: *A rigorous study and application of statistics on the college level. Students may be expected to engage in work prior to the course, and additional study to prepare for the AP Statistics exam.*

Rising 10th or 11th graders who have completed Advanced Algebra are advised to enroll in dual enrollment Calculus, then AP Statistics, and followed by a dual enrollment math course of their choice.

**Physics **

All ninth graders take this introductory Physics course. Students study motion and stability, and forces and their interactions to help them understand why some objects move in certain ways, why objects change their motion, and why some materials are attracted to each other while others are not. They also develop their understanding of energy at both the macroscopic and atomic scales that can be accounted for as either motions of particles or energy stored in fields. Students also gain a better understanding of waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer to further their knowledge of the physical principles used in a wide variety of existing and emerging technologies. Students take the MCAS exam in Physics at the end of this course.

**Biology**

All tenth graders take Biology, which is a survey on the study of life. Students study life from the microscopic level of our DNA in our cells to the macroscopic level of interactions between organisms and their environment. Units include evolution, ecology, anatomy, and genetics. Throughout the course, students develop their scientific literacy and understanding of the scientific method through lab activities. STEAM components include using dance to demonstrate protein synthesis and artistic storytelling of Natural Selection case studies.

**Chemistry**

All eleventh graders take Chemistry. Students build the physical and chemical nature of matter using evidence from experiments and activities. This course focuses on materials used in modern technology and in art. Students develop their ability to use the scientific process in a variety of contexts to solve problems and continue to develop their scientific reasoning and literacy. STEAM interdisciplinary thinking is required as students design, and explain the chemistry behind, custom paint

**Environmental Engineering **

This course is taken by twelfth graders. Environmental Science is the study of how natural and unnatural processes affect our environment. Engineering is the study of designing new technologies. In this interdisciplinary STEAM course, students examine these processes and the scientific principles at work behind them. Students will explore the impact humans have on the environment as a result of the way we live and what we can do to possibly minimize that impact. Students also learn to investigate data and claims regarding the state of the environment, and communicate with others about the issues. The course culminates in students engaging and designing a solution to an environmental problem that threatens their community.

This fourth science class is recommended for further study to be competitive for college acceptance and scholarship awards, but not required. All students must pass one science MCAS exam to graduate.

**Open Honors**

In our academic courses, students have the opportunity to earn an “Open Honors” distinction. Students may self-select to apply to receive honors. Students applying for honors must complete additional assignments, projects, and/or other major assessments, and fulfill additional requirements for exhibitions. Students’ transcripts will reflect the honors credit.