In all K-12 levels, SASCS promotes real-world problem solving & exploration in science and mathematics, interactive engagement and collaborative problem-solving opportunities, field trips to environmentally friendly locations and science museums, and regular use of technology: computer laboratories, smartboard, IPAD one-on-one chromebooks, internet, apps. As stated in its mission, SASCS is focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which provide the necessary foundation for college entrance and careers in technical fields. STEM education is a high national priority because of lack of skilled workers in these fields. Here are some examples: (a) Elementary School: Annual science fair, coding, Lego League (Bricks 4 Kids), and greenhouse (b) Middle School: annual science fair, coding, Lego League, MathCounts, Enterprise America with WCNY, SUNY ESF Environmental Challenge, project submission to Build and Bust Bridge Building Contest and CNY STEM Fair, summer science camp at school and SUNY ESF (c) High School: annual science fair, Microsoft certification, coding, robotics, summer science research program, project submissions to CNY STEM fair, ISWEEP, GENIUS Olympiad, offering STEM and environmental college courses, and attendance to Science Bowl.
Here are some more in depth information regarding some of the programs mentioned above:
SASCS Fairs: The high school students compete for awards at the school’s two internal academic events: the Science Fair and the Liberal Arts Fair. Each winter, in a two month long process guided by science teachers, high school science students in every science course are required to complete a science project demonstrating an understanding and application of scientific methods (hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion). Judges from local colleges (Syracuse University, SUNY Oswego, Most Museum, SUNY ESF, Le Moyne) evaluate each student’s project, and students present their experimentation process and findings at least three times during the afternoon competition. In addition to gauging each presenter’s fluency and poise, judges determine each project’s worthiness according to its adherence to scientific methods and concept inventiveness. Each spring, the same process takes place once again, only this time students are creating presentations and projects in the areas of social studies, English, art and music. Similarly, collegiate staff and community members are again invited to participate in this event as judges. In addition to the school-wide presentations and competitions, students with high quality projects continue on in regional competitions.
STEM projects: School hired a STEM projects coordinator, who holds a PhD in chemistry to guide students in STEM project preparation. SASCS submits most number of STEM projects at all levels and grades at annual CNY-STEM fair. In addition, SASCS has participated in international Science projects competition for high school students, ISWEEP and GENIUS Olympiad. In both programs, students interact with their peers from several countries and states and share their projects.
Science and Math Camps: Accompanied by teacher-coaches and parent chaperones, students involved in competitive science or math teams arrange camp places to study more intensive with a professor supervision and these projects will compete in regional, national and international level competitions.
Science Olympiads: SASCCS students will be participating in Science Olympiads. Science Olympiad competitions bring students together each year that have cross-trained in science disciplines in preparation for competition in a variety of events, with an emphasis on active, hands-on group participation. They require a well-planned, long-term commitment, and training which instills certain discipline within the students. Through commitment, coaching, and practice throughout the year, this apprentice and mentoring program improves the quality of our science education, increases student interest in science, and provides recognition for outstanding achievement in science education to both students and teachers. Participation of many students from minority groups (as demonstrated at the SASCS Science Olympiads) engenders respect and appreciation from the community. The students who participate in Science Olympiads have the opportunity to interact with students from many other schools, and learn how to appreciate diversity while competing.
SUNY Oswego Science Immersion Program: Since 2010, SASCS high school students have participated in a summer program at SUNY Oswego. They learn science disciplines under the guidance of Oswego professors, in conjunction with their high school teachers, and improve their lab skills. In this way, the Science Immersion Program provides an additional professional development benefit for teachers, which in turn positively impacts all their students. Through this program, teachers spend four weeks interacting with their students and professors on a more in-depth science research project than normally possible, using equipment and facilities not typically available to high schools. The Science Immersion Program also provides an excellent college culture experience for students. Students reside on the SUNY campus for four weeks, eat their meals in the cafeteria, and get a taste of what college life is like.
Math Competitions: At SASCS, students from every grade level who are interested in or have a talent for mathematics are encouraged to participate in extensive training to preparing for Math Competitions. SASCS has been able to establish a tradition of successful Math Competition Teams. Participation on these teams has given students a new perspective of math for future success. The MathCounts team commits to gathering at school on Saturday mornings to study for approximately 15 consecutive weeks. Because part of the competition includes teamwork, the MathCounts team also attends teambuilding activities and go-karting, to strengthen friendships and knowledge of one another’s strengths. School won several awards at regional MathCounts awards over the years.
K-7 Lego Program: SASCS offers a Lego curriculum to all its students to enhance problem-solving skills, in a context which makes it fun and engaging to learn using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It blends STEM knowledge and skills with soft skills such as teamwork, creative thinking, critical thinking, and communication. It also enhances eye-hand coordination, which results in greater gross and fine motor skills and brain development at an early age.
8-12th Grades Robotics Program: SASCS created a competitive robotics team and offer in-school, after-school and Saturday robotics instruction and teamwork. Participation in the Robotics Program promotes hands-on application of the STEM curriculum, in which problem solving takes place through students’ emerging engineering skills. Students attend at regional and national competition to gain further knowledge and skills.