Western Academy Charter School

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Frequently Asked Questions About STEAM Program

Frequently Asked Questions About STEAM Program

 

What is the STEAM Program (Middle School)?

STEM education is the preparation of students in competencies and skills in the four disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEAM brings the Arts into these areas to foster creativity, ingenuity, and innovation; innovation that is necessary for creating new jobs and industries in the future.  Adding Arts to the STEM framework enables this generation to create our future, not just exist in it.  STEAM creates 21st century learners, explorers and inventors.

 

Our STEAM Academy will take students who are interested in and excited about Math, Technology, and Science and further develop their skills and talents. The learning environment will make these students wonder why and then set out to find the answers.

 

Students will be instructed through a blend of a traditional and Project Based Learning Model wherein students are immersed in learning through experiential environments. Students will receive explicit content instruction but will also be learning through the STEAM modules and projects allowing for real learning through inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving. The learning experience will be authentic integrating real-life applications of knowledge and skills.

 

Technology is used by the students daily as an integral part of the innovative learning experience. It is not used just for learning content but also as a catalyst for digital literacy. The use of student laptops and SMART boards will provide students and teachers the opportunities to explore sites and information throughout the state and country via video streaming and interactive environments. The use of classroom response systems (clicker technology) will be utilized to enhance instruction and assessments. Innovative technology instruction will enable global activities in real time for students. 

 

The STEAM Academy will integrate subject matter, provide “hands-on” experiential learning, include guest speakers, and incorporate engaging field experiences.  Learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will be fun and the Arts will heighten creative thinking and enhance learning.

  

What are the STEAM Criteria?

  1. Must live in Palm Beach County
  2. Required GPA 3.2 or higher and proficient in all core content areas

                             OR

Standard based reporting of “Proficient” and/or “Exceeding” in all academic areas per trimester.  All students must have an Exceeding performance rating in at least 2 core content areas during the 1st and 2nd trimester report cards of 5th grade. Students coming from a Gifted Program only need "Proficient" in all academic areas per trimester.

  1. Statewide assessment score of a Level 3, 4 or 5 in Math and ELA (and Science if available) are required for entry into the STEAM Academy. Last available FSA scores will be used for determining eligibility upon entry into the program and for maintaining eligibility requirements. Standardized Assessment Score (SAS) may also be used if FCAT or FSA is not available.
  1. Student must meet the STEAM Academy Code of Conduct and be approved by Administration.
  1. Current Western Academy students who apply and meet STEAM Academy enrollment criteria will be given priority registration.

 

What are the STEAM Courses?

Advanced level core content classes - Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies.
 
Algebra I Honors, Geometry I Honors will be offered for high school credit. Courses offered may vary by year as determined by the Administration and for student needs.
 
There are two enrichment classes each day. Enrichment classes will be offered as a course of study with specific courses offered to each grade level each year. Courses other than those listed may be offered as they become available and approved by the Principal. Enrichment classes for STEAM Academy include:
  • The IT Track includes: Computer Application, Computer Coding, Animation, 2D & 3D Design, Virtual Simulation and Gaming Mechanics, Engineering, 2D/3D Design.
  • The Engineering Track includes: Engineering I and Robotics I & II
  • Other enrichment courses include: PE, Music, Art, American Sign Language, Intro to Psychology and Botany 
  • A PE waiver may be required for participation in specific enrichment classes as deemed necessary by the school schedule.
  •  Extracurricular activities include clubs, intramural sports, Chorus and National Junior Honor Society.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Eligibility criteria must be maintained for a student to remain in the STEAM Academy. Eligibility will be verified at the end of each grading period. Student statewide assessment results will be verified upon release by the state. Students who fall below eligibility criteria standards may be placed on academic probation for a 30 day period or may be removed from the STEAM Academy and placed in the regular middle school program, if a student seat is available.  A student may be involuntarily withdrawn from Western Academy, at the sole discretion of the Principal, if they do not meet the school code of conduct or maintain eligibility criteria.