STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
At Advantage Academy, students have numerous opportunities to study the natural world through investigations, inquiry activities, projects, and STEM.
Scenario-based Investigations: Apply knowledge to investigate the concepts in our Interactive Science program. Reinforce inquiry, use critical thinking, apply in real-world settings, and cooperate with classmates.
Inquiry Skills Activities: Inquiry is the heart of science learning. These inquiry skills activities incorporate the scientific method and include follow-up critical thinking questions and assessments.
Project Based Learning: Investigate and apply knowledge through open-ended, project-based activities in class projects or school science fairs.
STEM Projects: STEM projects engage students in the engineering design process. Use simple materials to research and develop possible solutions for a variety of real-world problems. Design, construct, and test a prototype; communicate results; and evaluate and redesign to find even better solutions.
Hands-on Learning Tools: Through digital learning platforms, interact with real scientific data simulations; manipulate models to test hypotheses; create 3D worlds that reflect real world phenomena.
Performance Based Assessments: Performance-based assessments are provided in every curriculum unit as an alternative method to a traditional pencil-and-paper test. These hands-on activities measure both content knowledge and the application of higher-order thinking skills.
Interactive Textbook: Interactive textbooks are meant to write in as a record of learning and application.
Science Notebooking: Science notebooks are powerful tools that can be used for conceptual understanding. Develop, practice, and refine the understanding of science while also enhancing vocabulary, reading, writing, mathematics, and communication skills.
K-2nd grade students will conduct careful observations and investigations to examine their world within physical, natural and living environments. Students will learn about:
Kindergarten: The natural world using their 5 senses.
Grade 1: The natural world using their 5 senses by asking questions, communicating ideas, and exploring scientific tools in life science.
Grade 2: The natural world by revealing patterns, changes, and cycles throughout the study of scientific investigation and reasoning.
3rd-5th grade students will conduct classroom and outdoor investigations to collect, record, and analyze information using scientific tools safely. Students will learn about:
Grade 3: The Earth and the resources humans use; Patterns, systems, and cycles within environments; Characteristics of organisms, life cycles, and interactions among all components of the natural environment.
Grade 4: Physical properties of matter including mass, volume, states of matter, temperature, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float; Earth properties and forces; and living organisms within an ecosystem.
Grade 5: Physical properties of matter including magnetism, mass, physical states of matter, relative density, and solubility in water; the ability to conduct or insulate electrical and thermal energy; changes that occur on Earth's surface; and the structure and function of organisms.
Middle School students will explore the skills and tools that scientists use to study the natural world. Students will learn about:
Grade 6: Physical science; matter; force, motion and energy; earth and space; and organisms and their environments.
Grade 7: Elements; chemical reactions; force, motion, and energy; Earth, oceans, and the universe; plate tectonics and mapping; atmosphere and weather; and living systems.
Grade 8: Cells, genetics, and human body systems; how organisms interact with their environments; Earth systems; and the solar system.
High school students will conduct laboratory and field investigations, use scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical thinking and scientific problem solving in the study of:
Biology: Structures and functions of cells and viruses; growth and development of organisms; cells, tissues, and organs; nucleic acids and genetics; biological evolution; taxonomy; metabolism and energy transfers in living organisms; living systems; homeostasis; and ecosystems and the environment.
Chemistry: Characteristics of matter; use of the Periodic Table; development of atomic theory and chemical bonding; chemical stoichiometry; gas laws; solution chemistry; thermochemistry; and nuclear chemistry. Students will investigate how chemistry is an integral part of our daily lives.
Physics: Laws of motion; changes within physical systems and conservation of energy and momentum; forces; thermodynamics; characteristics and behavior of waves; and atomic, nuclear, and quantum physics.
Forensic Science: Students will learn terminology and procedures related to the search and examination of physical evidence in criminal cases as they are performed in a typical crime laboratory. Using scientific methods, students will collect and analyze evidence such as fingerprints, bodily fluids, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, and cartridge cases. Students will also learn the history and the legal aspects as they relate to each discipline of forensic science.
Scientific Research & Design: The course has the components of any rigorous scientific or engineering program of study from problem identification, investigation design, data collection, data analysis, formulation, and presentation of the conclusions. These components are integrated with the career and technical education emphasis of helping students gain entry-level employment in high-skill, high-wage jobs and/or continue their education.