A STEM-focused education is not just about programs; it is about a STEM culture.
Sonoran Schools’ faculty, staff, students, parents, and community supporters embody a culture of STEM. We recognize the importance of STEM for the future of our nation and its workforce. STEM culture is not confined to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classroom instruction but is the integration of STEM content into all subjects including art, physical education, social studies, and language arts.
A STEM-focused education is also about providing students with the people and character skills they will need to be successful in a 21st century workforce such as problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, teamwork, and perseverance. These skills are developed in all grade levels, in all disciplines of knowledge at Sonoran Schools.
STEM focus. From kindergarten through 12th grade our students take computer science courses and master computer programming skills. All students are required to complete a STEM Demo project, and present it to their class and school community. We provide multiple skill-level mathematics courses in all grades, ensuring that each student is challenged appropriately, irrespective of grade level. We partner with Project Lead the Way to offer project-based engineering courses in middle school to prepare our students for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University or University of Arizona dual enrollment engineering courses in high school. We also partner with Grand Canyon University and Embry-Riddle to offer dual enrollment Calculus and Statistics courses in high school. All K-12 math classes are enriched by programs such as Mathcounts, Math Matters, and science and engineering competitions where students apply their mathematical knowledge to real-world problems.
Next Generation Science Standards. The Sonoran Schools science curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and meets Arizona Science Standards to ensure our students have a rigorous and comprehensive science and engineering education. Our curriculum providers include STEMscopes and Engineering is Elementary at the elementary level, Project Lead The Way and Project-Based Inquiry Science at the middle school level, and Active Science at the high school level. The College Board’s AP curriculum is utilized for our high school AP science courses in collaboration with our dual enrollment partners.
We also partner with the Arizona SciTech Festival to provide School STEM Council and Chief Science Officer programs. Each grade level has a Science Officer student representative on the student-lead school STEM Council; the council advocates for STEM, sets up school and community events, and communicates about STEM topics within our local and school communities. The School STEM Council is unique to Sonoran Schools.
Sonoran Schools academies are the only schools in Arizona to offer Science Olympiad events for its elementary students. We operate our own internal competition between all six Sonoran Schools to keep students interested in and excited about STEM from an early age.
Extras. We provide a strong extra-curricular program that includes FIRST Robotics, Science Olympiad, Future City, Kidstruction, and Odyssey of the Mind to offer multiple arenas for students to expand on classroom curriculum, complementing STEM skills with creative thinking and open-ended problem solving.
Technology / Engineering
- NGSS aligned science and engineering curriculum
- Science Fair participation or science project for all students
- STEM Demo Projects for all students
- Participation in Science Olympiad for Elementary, Middle, and High School
- Science Lab Kits for elementary, middle and high school project-based science classes
- Subject-specific science classes in middle school: 6th grade Earth Science, 7th grade Life Science/Biology, 8th grade Physics/Chemistry
- Honors, Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment science classes
- Annual field trips to science-related locations
- Technology Literacy classes in all grades K-12
- Project Lead the Way Gateway to Technology courses in middle school
- Web Authoring, Digital Arts, Computer Aided Design, Exploring Engineering through Robotics, and Computer Programming in high school
- Robotics/Engineering dual enrollment classes in high schools
- Junior LEGO program in elementary schools
- FIRST LEGO Robotics program for 6th and 7th grade students
- FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics program for 8th and 9th grade students
- FIRST Robotics program for high school students
- Skill level multiple math classes for each grade level
- Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment math classes at high schools
- Advance Math and Science Olympiad program at middle schools
- Mathcounts program at middle schools
- American Mathmatics Competition 8/10/12 and American Invitational Mathmatics Exam preparation program at middle / high schools
- Math Matters and Math Kangaroo contests