STEM

The St. Albert the Great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School

The St. Albert the Great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program provides the opportunity for academically gifted students in grades fifth through eighth to participate in advanced courses in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. This three or four year rigorous program of study requires a high level of academic discipline as well as an appropriate maturity on the part of the student. It also requires consistent parental support in order for the student to be successful. Students should be productive during class time and should also complete at least 30 minutes of work each night for each class. Parents should actively monitor student progress and help the students to maintain an acceptable pace in their work. When working through the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), parents and students should understand that the online courses are designed to be self-paced. However, Aquinas has a special working agreement with CTY and Aquinas students are expected to complete all courses within a regular academic year. If there is a discrepancy in communication, preference should be given to the deadlines, expectations, and/or directives given by Aquinas.

Key Elements

  • Online learning in conjunction with the CTY for fifth grade math, earth, life, physical science, and forensics
  • An advanced math track enabling students to enroll in geometry in eighth grade
  • A bi-weekly lab with a Johns Hopkins instructor at Aquinas in sixth and seventh grade
  • A robotics course using the Lego-Mindstorm platform
  • Entry in the First Lego League (FLL) Tournament

Co-curricular Activities

  • A STEM specific field trip during the school year
  • Twice per quarter meetings with a mentor to review progress in courses

Course Offerings

  • Honors Math – 1st Semester (online)
  • Chapters 1-7 in Pre-Algebra – 2nd Semester (online)
  • Pre-Algebra
  • CTY Earth Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (1st Semester)
  • CTY Life Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (2nd Semester)
  • Algebra
  • CTY Physical Science online with bi-weekly lab on-site (1st semester)
  • CTY Forensics online with bi-weekly lab on-site (2nd semester)
  • Geometry
  • Robotics

Admission Requirements

• Maintain at least a 93% in math
• Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
• Qualify for “summer programs” on the quantitative section of the SCAT administered by CTY
• Achieve at least  80% on the 5th grade math placement exam
• Have a positive teacher recommendation

  • Maintain at least an 80% average in the STEM math course and successfully complete the course
  • Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
  • Achieve an 80% or above on the diocesan pre-algebra placement exam
  • Have a positive teacher recommendation
  • Maintain a 93% average in math courses
  • Score at or above the 90th percentile on the math section of the Scantron (or other standardized test)
  • Qualify for “summer programs” on the quantitative section of the SCAT administered by CTY
  • Achieve an 80% or above on the diocesan pre-algebra math placement exam
  • Have a positive teacher recommendation

The STEM program is designed as a progressive curriculum with a substantial portion of the diocesan curriculum requirements being covered in sixth grade. Therefore, rising seventh or eighth grade students are not eligible for the STEM program.

Admission Process

  • Register to take the SCAT test through CTY
  • Complete and submit the STEM program application to the school office
  • Submit a teacher recommendation form to the student’s current math teacher
  • Admission is determined according to the qualifications listed under Admission Requirements

Fifth Grade is an introductory year providing the foundation for the accelerated math curriculum in the years to come. Participation in the STEM program is highly recommended by the school. The fifth grade year provides the school, student, and parent the ability to assess a given student’s aptitude for the STEM program. Students enrolled in the STEM program in fifth grade must re-apply for admission to continue with the middle school STEM program.

  • Complete and submit the STEM application to the school office
  • Submit a teacher recommendation form to the student’s current math teacher
  • Admission is determined according to the qualifications listed under Admission Requirements

Enrollment and Re-Enrollment

After the admissions process is completed, parents will receive notification of admission decisions regarding the STEM program along with an enrollment form and fee. Parents should complete and return the enrollment form by the due date.

 

After receiving the enrollment packet, parents should complete and return the enrollment form and fee by the due date.