The High School S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy represents a course sequence that addresses the educational needs of students planning on a post high school educational program in a two-year or four-year college leading to a career in engineering or engineering technology.
The High School S.T.E.M. Academy, a Project Lead the Way program, provides students with an opportunity to explore and experience engineering through a comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to a wide variety of topics, and provides them with a strong foundation for achieving their academic goals in any chosen field of study. This sequence prepares students for college and career success in S.T.E.M.-related industries.
Students that complete all requirements of the OVHS S.T.E.M. Academy will be recognized as OVHS S.T.E.M. Academy graduates at commencement.
Students who complete the requirements of their chosen pathway earn the AP + PLTW student recognition, a qualification that demonstrates to colleges and employers that the student is ready for advanced course work and interested in careers in this discipline.
To earn the recognition, the student must satisfactorily complete three courses in the pathway – one AP course; one PLTW course; and a third course, either AP or PLTW – and earn a qualifying score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam(s) and a score of Proficient or higher on the PLTW End of Course (EoC) assessment(s).
Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3-D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
From smartphones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.
Students will experience the major topics, big ideas, and computational thinking practices used by computing professionals to solve problems and create value for others. This course will empower students to develop computational thinking skills while building confidence that prepares them to advance to Computer Science Principles and Computer Science A.
Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation.
Students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases, as well as creating a game for their friends or an app to serve a real need in the their community. This course is aligned to the AP CSA framework.
In Environmental Sustainability, students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply, and renewable energy. Applying their knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations, students research and design potential solutions to these true-to-life challenges.
In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.
Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis in the body. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.
Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.
In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.
Whether seeking a career in the growing field of cybersecurity or learning to defend their own personal data or a company’s data, students in Cybersecurity establish an ethical code of conduct while learning to defend data in today’s complex cyberworld. Beta version available Fall 2018 and full course release for 2019-20.
The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in Engineering Design and Development as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, completing Engineering Design and Development ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.