Mater Dei Catholic High School

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Academy of Science

The Program

 
 

The Academy of Science is a unique and unparalleled, collaborative education experience in which high achieving students are challenged to expand their intellect, and to develop skills in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving and communications. The Academy’s academically rigorous learning environment focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), while fostering a culture of innovation based on leadership, social justice and serving our global community. The Academy of Science promotes three objectives for our students:

  1. STEAM Fundamentals for College Readiness
  2. Work-Based learning incorporating STEAM research and innovative experiences with San Diego’s STEAM community professionals, and
  3. Career development and resume building in STEAM.

Selected students are placed in Science Academy approved classes in their sophomore year. Academy of Science students are introduced to STEAM professionals and their work through visits and partnerships with institutions that include The University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, and San Diego State University. These partnerships include visits to

their laboratories, providing mentors for our students from among the doctoral and post-doctoral scientists, and summer internship opportunities in the laboratories and research facilities they represent.

 

 

What is STEAM?

 
 
STEAM or (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is a vibrant movement in Southern California, especially San Diego.  According to UCSD STEAM Connect, STEAM K-12 education not only emphasizes STEM technical skills such as mathematics and computer programming, but is also a curriculum that emphasizes skills such as collaboration, information synthesis, and innovation.  By fusing the arts with STEM, STEAM teaches our students creativity, critical thinking and an optimistic outlook education sparking the interplay between left-brain convergent thinking and right-brain divergent thinking.   In a rapidly changing world, our high school students must become well-rounded citizens who have imagination and technical skills to conquer new challenges in our global economy.  With a STEAM education, future workers are more likely to succeed through innovation and entrepreneurship.
 
 

Eligibility

Entrance into Academy of Science as a Sophomore
Freshmen Year Requirements
  • Must earn a B+ above in math, science & English classes.
  • Must complete Algebra 1 with a B+ or above.
  • Must have a cumulative 3.25 GPA.
  • Did not receive a D or F in the Freshman year.
Entrance as a Junior or Senior
Sophomore, Junior Year Requirements
  • Must receive a B+ or above in Math, Science & English classes.
  • Must complete Geometry with a B+ or above.
  • Must have a cumulative 3.25 GPA.
  • Did not receive a D or F in the sophomore year.
  • Must meet with Dr. Till first week of classes Fall semester. Students must bring a transcript, and be ready to explain why they desire to be in the Academy of Science.
  • Counselors will only accept students into the Academy of Science when they bring back transcripts approved by Dr. Till.
  • Academy of Science internship strongly recommended.
  • Students entering for the first time Academy of Science as a Senior will not receive an Academy of Science diploma.
 
Participation in Science Academy 1, 2, 3 Classes 
 
Science Academy 1 
Students are strongly encouraged to take Science Academy 1 as an elective.  
  • Provides students math, science reading comprehension, data analysis and science communications skills required to succeed in college.
  • Exposes students to many science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) career opportunities.
  • Allows students time to complete STEAM projects and participate in STEAM competitions that are great for college resumes.
  • Teaches students how to create a college resume.
  • Provides students opportunities to participate in STEAM summer internships.
  • Provides field trips in cooperation with many STEAM professionals and organizations throughout California.
 
Science Academy 2 
Students must complete with a passing grade of C or above one of the following year-long STEAM classes:
  • Select any AP Science Course
  • AP Calculus
  • Human Geography
  • Physical Geography
  • Anatomy
  • Physics
  • Computer Graphics
  • Drama
  • Journalism
Students are also exposed to STEAM summer science internships.
 
Science Academy 3
Designed for Seniors, especially those who have completed a summer internship. 
  • Not required for Academy of Science Diploma.
  • Required for Academy of Science Honors Diploma
  • Students will create a college undergraduate level research poster based upon the summer internship, or a student research topic.
  • Students will present the poster at STEAM Poster Night in October.
  • Students will research STEAM major options at Cal State Universities, Universities of California and private universities.
  • Students will learn how to input Academy of Science activities into the resume section of the college application.
  • Students will learn how to transform the research poster into a college application essay.
  • Students will complete at least one scholarship application.
  • Field trips are provided along with resume enhancing STEAM activities. 
 
Sea Bass Video
 
 
To participate in the Academy of Science and receive an Academy of Science Diploma, there are two different tracks to follow: Academy of Science and Academy of Science with Honors. The below table explains the requirements for each track.
 
 

TRACK:

Academy of Science with Honors

 

Academy of Science

Mater Dei Requirements

DIPLOMA:

MDCHS Academy of Science diploma with Honors distinction. MDCHS Cum GPA:  3.7 or above.

MDCHS Academy of Science Diploma MDCHS Cum GPA: 3.0 or above.

MDCHS diploma

REQUIRED CLASSES AND GRADES:*

2 years laboratory science.  With a passing grade C.

2 years laboratory science with a passing grade C.

2 years of Science

 

3 years mathematics. 

4 years English. With a passing grade of C.

3 years mathematics.  4 years English.  With a passing grade C.

3 years of Math

Science Academy 1, 2 & 3

Two Science Academy classes.

None

STEAM SUMMER INTERNSHIP

Participate in STEAM internship/project. 30 hours. Internship portfolio required.

STEAM internship/ project preferred but not required.

None

 FIELD TRIPS/ COMPETITIONS

One field trip or competition grades 10-12 with Academy of Science.

Same as Honors.

None

 

Dr. Suzanne Till, Ph.D., Director, Academy of Science

Reports and Videos