The following programs are offered by Sonoran Schools. Not all programs are offered at every school.
Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. These goals are achieved by participating in Science Olympiad tournaments and non-competitive events, incorporating Science Olympiad into classroom curriculum and attending teacher training institutes.
- To create a passion for learning science by supporting elementary and secondary Science Olympiad tournaments at building, district, county, state and national levels with an emphasis on teamwork and a commitment to excellence.
- To improve the quality of K-12 science education throughout the nation by changing the way science is perceived and the way it is taught (with an emphasis on problem solving and hands-on, minds-on constructivist learning practices). This goal is accomplished through in-depth core curriculum training workshops and the distribution of curriculum materials.
- To celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievement of both students and teachers in the areas of science and technology by awarding thousand of certificates, medals, trophies and scholarships.
- To promote partnerships among community, businesses, industry, government and education.
- To bring science to life, to show how science works, to emphasize problem solving aspects of science and the understanding of science concepts.
- To develop teamwork and cooperative learning strategies among students.
- To make science education more exciting so more students will enroll in science courses and engage in other science activities like science reading, fairs, meetings and field trips.
- To promote high levels of achievement and a commitment to excellence, to demonstrate that American students can perform at levels that surpasses expectations of even practicing scientists and engineers.
- To attract more students particularly females and minorities to professional and technical careers in science, technology and science teaching.
FTC - FIRST Tech Challenge - is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year to year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for robotics achievements as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. Students get to design, build, and program robots; apply real-world math and science concepts; develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills; compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments; earn a place in the World Championship; and qualify for over $11 million in college scholarships.
The Character Education course offered at Sonoran Schools is one hour per week in each grade of middle school. The class encourages students to take responsibility for their actions, familiarizes them with good character traits, introduces role models, and helps develop good citizens.
Each month a character trait (such as honesty, responsibility, respect, and integrity) is announced. Students are frequently reminded of these values and are given the opportunity to make connections between these values and their own actions. The curriculum for the Character Education Classes is built using widely-used and approved resource guides.
A+ is Accord Institute's advanced STEM program for grades K-12 that aims to motivate and encourage talented students in math and computer science. A+ is a condensed training program that helps students develop their critical and analytical thinking skills in a motivational and challenging environment by utilizing prestigious math and science competitions at the regional, national, and international level. Some of these competitions are:
The goals of A+ Program are to:
- International Mathematics Olympiad
- International Olympiad in Informatics
- USA Math Olympiads
- USA Computing Olympiads
- American Mathematics Competitions
- Math League
- Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools
- Gauss League
- ACCompete (Accord Institute Computer Science Competition)
- Enrich students with a more challenging curriculum in the sciences
- Cultivate an interest in math, science, and technology related fields
- Provide essential resources and tools for students to excel and reach their full potential
- Create a challenging environment for students via a regional, competitive ranking system and A+ camps
- Empower students to succeed in secondary and post secondary education
- Contribute to meeting our nations’ and world’s future needs by preparing skilled and dedicated citizens
- Groom qualified scientists for our community and our nation