STEM Initiatives

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education has become a priority in the United States, as STEM plays a vital role in the global economy and there is a shortage of qualified applicants across these disciplines in the U.S.  

In VHS STEM courses, we engage students in real world issues, encourage them to think critically and analytically, allow them to identify questions and problems, and challenge them to propose solutions.  

Students engage in more substantive learning experiences that include a deeper exploration of content and the ability to better articulate their learning and thought processes, as outlined in the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards*.  

 Highlights of STEM projects at VHS:

  • VHS partnered with TERC to develop a state-of-the-art high school Earth and Space System Science course aligned with the NGSS*.  Students learn how land, water, atmosphere and life interact; how we can find, use and manage Earth’s resources; how to tap into energy from fossil fuels, wind and the sun; forecasting and preparing for hurricanes and other extreme weather; and how we explore the solar system and the universe beyond.  
  • Using a curriculum adapted from MIT, VHS offers Computer Animation with Scratch. Students create a full portfolio of their own interactive digital stories, animations and games and apply traditional programming concepts to their own creative goals - sharing their experiences as they identify problems and collaborate to propose solutions.  
  • In collaboration with a NOAA Teacher Climate Steward and a national leader in Earth Science education, VHS has developed a semester long course on Climate Change. Focusing on real-world case studies, this honors level course encourages students to question the cause and effects of climate in the world around them, investigate the science behind those questions, and evaluate potential solutions as they identify impacts of climate change across the globe.
  • Students experience math in a whole new way in our new Honors Statistics course. Students interpret real-world, relevant statistics around social media as they compare usage of Facebook and Twitter, and evaluate the economic impacts of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina based on published data.
  • In Epidemics, students are using models to predict patterns of effects of disease on populations, uncovering global epidemic events and collaborating with classmates to identify and propose a plan to address an epidemic via a One Health approach.
  • In Forensic Science students engage in hands-on investigations throughout the course where they collect and share crime scene data to evaluate the correlation between footprints and height, interpret fingerprints and analyze blood spatter patterns to determine the position of the victim.

A Sample of STEM Courses for Students


*Next Generation Science Standards is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

To learn more about STEM and enroll students, click here to find your local representative.