The STEM Academy hosts three CTE Programs or Career Pathways. Students can apply to:
Biomedical & Life Sciences – Students will utilize the scientific method and research methodology in project and problem-based inquiry. Students will explore the latest research driving innovation in these evolving fields: Biomechanics, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Lab and Research Science, Neuroscience, Pathology and Medicine. Students acquire a strong scientific foundation as they pursue collaborative teamwork and independent research that fosters opportunities in a dynamic learning environment. They showcase their research and presentation skills in local, state and national competitions.
Computer Science (CS) – Provides students with a solid foundation in computer science and research. This pathway allows students to explore the following areas: Database Design, Software Engineering, Cyber Security, Mobile App Development, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Gamification. Students learn to code with a variety of programming languages and, through emerging trends, explores how CS plays an integral and vital role in all aspects of STEM. They apply and present research and programming skills in local, state and national competitions.
Engineering – Students learn about various disciplines of engineering such as: Aerospace, Architectural, Civil, Electrical, Environmental and Mechanical. They learn the Engineering Design Process and Systems Approach to solve real world problems and work collaboratively in project-based learning challenges. Students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Applying their knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations, students research and design potential solutions to these true-to-life challenges. They also apply research and design skills in local, state and national competitions.
In all three Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways, students practice problem solving and professional technical skills through structured activities, inquiry and open-ended, problem-based projects throughout a four-year program of study. These interactive and collaborative activities simulate the professional environment and foster the development of the career practices that will make STEM graduates highly marketable in their career pathway. The CTE Skills and Career Ready Practices include, but are not limited to the following (NJ State Career Ready Practices):
Students will be:
- Acting as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
- Applying appropriate academic and technical skills.
- Attending to personal health and financial well-being.
- Communicating clearly and effectively and with reason.
- Considering the environmental, social and economic impacts of decisions.
- Demonstrating creativity and innovation.
- Employing valid and reliable research strategies.
- Utilizing critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Modeling integrity, ethical leadership and effective management.
- Planning education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
- Using technology to enhance productivity.
- Working productively in teams while using cultural global competence.
In addition to New Jersey Learning Standards and Career Readiness Practices, STEM Academy students will also employ the following International Science and Technology Education (ISTE) standards:
Empowered Learner: Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.
Digital Citizen: Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
Knowledge Constructor: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
Innovative Designer: Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.
Computational Thinker: Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
Creative Communicator: Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Global Collaborator: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
In supporting a balanced approach to assessment of student progress for all the CTE programs, both formative and summative assessments are integrated and on-going which allow teachers to monitor student progress and modify instruction as needed. Students demonstrate their knowledge throughout the courses by completing activities, projects, and problems using a variety of assessment tools – such as such as performance rubrics, reflective questioning, and End-of-Course (EoC) assessments – to deepen and expand their knowledge and skills.