At the SMA we aim to provide an accelerated and challenging program that emphasizes laboratory research, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.
Science, Research, and Technology (SRT)
Science, Research, and Technology is a four year sequence of courses designed to integrate science skills and processes with the use of mathematics and technology to better understand the impact of scientific research on our world and our lives. Students will be engaged in a variety of activities involving independent research and experimentation, investigation, design, and construction.
SRT 1 - 9th grade
In SRT 1, the students are introduced to a variety of the tools used in scientific research, including data collection equipment such as Vernier probes, software for data analysis such as Microsoft Excel and Wolfram Mathematica, and the specific expectations for keeping a legally valid scientific notebook.
In addition to learning how to collect and analyze data, students in SRT 1 work on improving their presentation skills, both through written and oral communication. The sharing of information gathered during an experiment is an essential part of the scientific process and is reinforced throughout the four year SRT sequence.
SRT 2 - 10th grade
In SRT 2, students develop higher order thinking and presenting skills from many digital and hands-on projects. Students will be exposed to Autodesk's Fusion 360, Microsoft Excel VBA, Mathematica, Inkscape 2D design software, and Autodesk Eagle PCB designer. Through C# and Arduino students learn logic and programming. The hands-on components of various projects are designed and produced using in-house laser cut and 3d printed parts. The engineering design process is frequently repeated to hone this skill which is needed to be successful in SRT 3 and SRT 4.
SRT 3 - 11th grade
In SRT 3 students complete a series of four projects, one per quarter of the year. These projects are designed to guide students through the research design, data collection, and the research presentation process. Skills required to transition into SRT 4 will be universally taught; resume writing, maintaining a scientific/engineering notebook, reading scientific articles and annotating those articles, presentation skills, professional email etiquette, and creating a poster of the quarter project.
- Project 1: Using the tools of Biomolecular modeling, students will explore a protein of choice, tell a molecular story about that protein, model the protein through 3-D printing. Students will gain expertise on Jmol, PDB website, Meshmixer, Flashprint, and the central dogma of biology.
- Project 2: Students complete an investigation in the field of biomechanics to include literature searches and research article reviews, experimental design, scientific analysis using statistics (Minitab), how to display data in Excel, and writing a research proposal.
- Project 3: Students investigate tensile tests, 3-point bend tests, digital simulations, and materials science experiments that include testing and research to analyze properties of materials. Students will use research articles, the experimental design process, scientific analysis using statistics (Minitab and Excel), and presentation skills to develop a professional presentation.
- Project 4: Students complete an engineering project during the quarter. Students learn the engineering design process in preparation for an engineering type project for SRT 4. Students are tasked with engineering a device that will automate a process. This will involve designing the device in Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Eagle, using an Arduino, sensors, actuators, programming, 3D printing, laser cutting, producing and soldering a printed circuit board. Students will manufacture/gather parts, assemble, and test the device. A data collection protocol will be developed and implemented. At the conclusion of the course, students will create a poster (mimicking what is done in SRT 4). Throughout the course students also learn about displaying data in efficient and high-quality ways for a poster.
SRT 4 - 12th grade
In SRT 4 each student conducts a capstone research project under the mentorship of a professional, scientists, mathematician or engineer. The culmination of this 300+ hour real-worlds hands-on research project is our Gallery Walk of Capstone Projects.
SMA Semester Electives
At the SMA we offer a variety of interesting an engaging STEM electives open to our juniors and seniors. Electives include:
- Algorithm Development for Applications
- Design Engineering
- Introduction to Mathematical Logic
- Linear Algebra
- Organic Chemistry
- Research Methods in STEM
- Statistics using R
For detailed course descriptions with pre-requisites click on the download above.
SMA Electives PowerPoint - learn more about these courses from the teachers that teach them (sound on).
SMA Course Selection Presentation: 2023-2024
SMA Graduation Requirements
Students must take the following courses at the SMA/AHS to graduate from the SMA.
- Honors English 9 and 10
- SRT 1 - 4 (9th - 12th)
- 4 SMA Semester Electives (11th/12th) : Starting with the Class of 2025 the requirement is 3 SMA Semester Electives and a half credit of "Health 2" (10th/11th/12th grade)
- SMA Honors Biology (9th)
- SMA Honors Algebra 2 (9th)
- SMA Honors Chemistry (10th)
- SMA AP Environmental Science (9th)
- SMA AP Statistics and SMA Honors Trigonometry (10th)
- SMA AP Calculus AB (11th)
- SMA AP Physics C: Mechanics (11th)
- One of the following: SMA AP Biology (can be taken in 10th, 11th, or 12th), SMA AP Chemistry (can be taken in 11th or 12th), or SMA AP Physics C: E&M (can be taken in 12th) - grade level restrictions are based on when SMA students will have completed the prerequisite course.