The importance of scientific literacy in our society cannot be overstated. Technology, which grows out of scientific discovery, has changed and will change the world in which our graduates will live. We seek to graduate critical, conceptual thinkers. As such, our science curriculum stresses problem solving through the application of the Scientific Method. We strive to offer science education that reaches beyond conceptual understanding to evaluation and application through laboratory experiments which are often designed by the students as a response to a problem. Our students develop problem-solving tools that can be applied in many areas of life beyond the classroom.
We seek to graduate effective communicators. The opportunity to express experimental methods and draw logical conclusions from data is communicated through extensive laboratory reports as well as informal discussion and/or presentations. The ability to clearly and concisely communicate procedures, raw data and the analysis drawn from that data is a skill we seek to build from year to year within our program. Graphical representation of measured relationships and observations is stressed as well as the significance of findings in support of natural laws and/or theories.
We seek to graduate self-directed, life-long learners. The ability of our program to produce such students is dependent upon individual teachers and their ability to inspire and engage students not only in the material itself, but in the “bigger picture”. Students must design themselves, and as such, every classroom offers the opportunity to engage them in the workings of the natural world on a personal level. Scientists must always ask, “Why?” Our students should also be asking this daily, challenging every concept with alternative explanations. This is the core of creative science as well as self-directed learning.
We seek to graduate leaders and team players. Laboratory science is, by definition, a team endeavor. Lab groups are established and data is shared and pooled among groups. Often, students find their ability and skills in the lab position them as leaders within their groups. These skills are very different from those required in other classrooms, and therefore offer students a new approach to discovery.
We seek to graduate a socially and globally aware person. Concepts learned in the classroom are linked to the bigger issues facing the world today. Through discussion, debate, and research papers students are exposed to the necessity of being scientifically literate in order to participate in the democratic process and become an active member of a thinking society.