Tuesday, August 23, 2011

12 Best High Schools for STEM Education

These days, you have to travel pretty far into the wilderness to avoid seeing some kind of technological device. From computers to pharmaceuticals to the latest in satellite technology, much of everyday American life and work revolves around science and innovation. Because of this, some high schools have decided that the best way to prepare their students for college education — and ultimately the working world — is by providing them with the best of the best when it comes to technological resources and science education.

While the majority are private or charter schools catering to students who’ve demonstrated an interest and aptitude for the sciences, there are some public institutions out there that are also trying to bring their classrooms into the digital age and further innovation in science, math and engineering. Here are 12 schools across America, in no particular order, which stand out for their commitment to such an education and creating classrooms showcasing the true power of technology.
  1. Biotechnology High School, Freehold, NJ:

    A public magnet high school, Biotech High offers students the chance to take a curriculum intensely focused on the sciences to better prepare students for a career in the biotechnology industry. Facilities are top notch, and include two biotechnology labs, a chemistry lab, physics lab and biology lab, each with state-of-the-art equipment. Students are expected to choose an area of concentration for their studies, which include genetics, biomedical research, environmental technology and agricultural science. Additionally, the school uses blogs to communicate with students and parents, and each teacher maintains a separate one for his or her courses. Qualified students can also take college classes at nearby Monmouth University and participate in such research while still in high school.
  2. The School of the Future, Philadelphia, PA:

    The School of the Future opened its doors in 2006 with the help of a generous grant from Microsoft. With each student being allocated a laptop, a campus that’s entirely paperless and an expansive modern facility, the school certainly did seem like it was paving the way for the education’s future. Yet despite the availability of technology for students, SotF faltered in recent years. Some say it’s because they put technology skills ahead of educational fundamentals. While it might not have been the dream school that Microsoft envisioned, it is still helping kids get access to the latest technology and making use of it in new and innovative ways.
  3. High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ:

    Founded in 1991, this vocational public high school allows students to prepare themselves for a career through classes zeroing on tech topics like computer manufacturing, programming and engineering design. High Technology High School receives hundreds of applications every year, but in an effort to keep teacher to student ratios low, only about 75 new students are admitted each year. With five regular computer labs, two roaming computer labs, school wide email and wifi and cutting-edge labs for chemistry, physics, research and technology, students are provided with all the tools they need to complete the school’s focused curriculum.
  4. Digital Harbor High School, Baltimore, MA:

    Formerly known as Southern High School, this Baltimore magnet focuses on teaching students valuable computer and informational technology skills in addition to the general curriculum. The school spent over $6 million on information technology and audio visual equipment alone to help equip students with all the tools they’ll need to tackle their tough assignments. The curriculum offers four different pathways for students to choose from — networking and computer systems, programming and software development, interactive video and media production and information and support services.
  5. Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High Charter School, San Diego, CA:

    High Tech High isn’t just a single charter, but a system of spread throughout San Diego County comprised of two elementary schools, four middle schools and five high schools as well as a graduate degree program in education. The Gary and Jerri-Ann High Tech High is the original school that started it all back in 2000, when a group of local businesspeople and educators sought to increase the number of qualified workers for the area’s growing high tech and biotech industries. Students at High Tech High work alone or in groups to complete a series of projects, some of which have included human-powered submarines and water treatment plants. It also boasts an impressive robotics building team that has earned numerous awards and honors.
  6. New Technology High School, Napa, CA:

    This technology-friendly high school serves as the model for over 41 like-minded institutions across the nation and is a Center for Secondary School Reform Showcase. Why? It focuses on not only teaching students the skills they need to meet state standards, but also to succeed in an economy based largely on technology. Each student at NTHS gets his or her own computer and uses the latest software to complete projects and homework. Like High Tech High, NTHS focuses on project-based learning, with kids showing off their knowledge of subject matter and tech savvy in their work. The majority of students at NTHS go on to college or internships with leading Silicon Valley companies.
  7. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA:

    Getting into this elite science and technology school is not easy; students need to test well and have a longstanding record of academic achievement, but the rewards for those interested in cutting-edge fields may be worth it. Ranked as the best public high school in the nation between 2007 and 2010, TJHSST offers students a well-rounded education, albeit one pushing them to excel at the sciences in ways other schools might not. The school has over 14 different research labs, each dedicated to a different field, that allow students to get training and be creative when completing their coursework and research projects. Other features include a computer lab with a supercomputer, a model United Nations club and numerous grants which providing the school with the latest technology from a wide range of corporate donors.
  8. The School of Science and Engineering Magnet, Dallas, TX:

    Currently ranked as one of the top ten high schools in the nation, this magnet school in Dallas offers students an education focusing on mathematics, engineering, science, liberal arts and computer technology. The facilities are state-of-the-art, providing students with an electron microscope, engineering, robotics and computers labs and other high-end equipment. Accelerated tracks are available for kids who plan to major in not only math and science fields, but English as well, as the school firmly believes in a well-rounded education. Additionally, SSEM has helped create some particular standouts in computer science, with students winning championships and international recognition through the American Computer Science League.
  9. Lennox Mathematics, Science & Technology Academy, Lennox, CA:

    This small high school prides itself on a personalized and community-oriented education for students. Of course, it doesn’t slouch when it comes to the math, science and tech either. The school is ranked 21st in the nation and offers small class sizes and specialized courses for those hoping to enter a professional technology field. New labs, computers and courses in everything from the latest in scientific discovery to English classics are offered to help graduates emerge well-rounded and better able to get into highly competitive technology-focused colleges.
  10. New Explorations Science Tech and Math School (NEST + M), New York, NY:

    This NYC school caters to the needs of gifted and talented students in kindergarten through 12th grade. NEST + M’s high school provides seminars from scientists and scholars working in cutting-edge fields, access to a variety of science and technology labs and the ability to take courses at nearby colleges for credit. Additionally, the enrolled take electives that allow them to conduct their own independent research, sometimes in conjunction with students and faculty from NYU. Of course, NEST + M isn’t all about high-tech education. It also requires students to give back, mandating 60 hours of community service. The program has paid off, with 100 percent of graduating seniors going on to college.
  11. Tech Valley High School, Albany, NY:

    Focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) this high-tech school opened in the fall of 2007 with a separate board of education altogether. The institution places emphasis on working with technology in the classroom as well as in conjunction with mentors from local businesses. Located in the Rensselaer Technology Park, TVHS is ideally situated to take advantage of nearby insights into how technology is used in business and research. The school offers students art, physical education and Mandarin Chinese classes in addition to their technology-focused curriculum. In order to make sure that all students have the necessary technology, each one is provided with his or her own computer and network access – both and home and at on campus.
  12. Math, Engineering, Science and Technology Academy, Carrollton, TX:

    Near Dallas, this high school opened in 2007 and just this year had its first class of graduates. It’s been recognized by the New Technology Foundation as a 21st Century School and focuses its curriculum on engineering and engineering technology coursework. Much like many of the other cutting-edge locales on this list, it takes a project-based approach, which allows students to learn while exploring their own ideas and theories about engineering and science in a guided environment. Additionally, they can also take their knowledge into the workplace, as the school has partnerships with several local businesses providing tech-related internships. With state-of-the-art labs and focused classes, METSA helps to prepare students for majors in everything from aerospace to environmental engineering.
Taken From Online Colleges

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