Math & Science Academy

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Math & Science Academy

The Math & Science Academy in Scottsdale Unified School District focuses on the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—often referred to as STEM. Academy students graduate motivated and fully qualified to pursue degrees in the STEM field at the post-secondary level.

Our Vision

  • Strong emphasis in math and science with an infusion of technology
  • Designed to meet the needs of academically motivated and dedicated students
  • A challenging experience that's comparable with nationwide Math & Science Academy programs
Math & Science Academy

Ninth and Tenth Grade Cohort Groups

Students are grouped in Math, Science and English. They have the opportunity to work with peers that have the same interests and motivations. Cohort classes offer opportunities for enhanced instruction such as more speakers and additional field trips. Enhanced instruction includes:

  • Extensive laboratory experiences using the latest technologies and current computer-based software and hardware
  • Emphasis on critical thinking skills in advanced math and science courses
  • Focus on technical writing skill development

Math & Science Distinction Program

  • Accelerated Instruction
  • Academic advisor 
  • Program of study
  • Internship or Senior Project

Accelerated Instruction Includes:

  • Intense writing assignments designed to improve a student’s skills and hone their ability to communicate effectively and report information related to scientific study
  • A program of study which requires a minimum of nine advanced units of math and science and completion of at least two extended academic events
  • An internship or senior project

The Math & Science Academy Academic Advisor

Students meet with the science or math chair to develop their plan to complete requirements to graduate with academy distinction. 
The advisor helps the students formulate their program of study, become aware of and choose opportunities related to participation in various academic competitions, and helps find and complete their internship or senior project.

There are four standard strands of study for academy students to choose from:
Life Sciences, Mathematics, Medical Science and Physical Science.

Each strand has a specific course sequence; however, the first two years of study for academy students will be similar to allow students the opportunity to change or modify their program of study through their junior year.

Distinction Program Requirements

Each academy student will:

  • Complete a minimum of four units of high school math beginning with Geometry Trigonometry Honors followed by Algebra II honors, Trig precalculus honors and AP Calculus.
  • Enroll in two Honors English courses or an advanced college-level English course.
  • Complete a minimum of five high school science courses, including honors chemistry, honors biology, honors physics and two upper-level science electives.
  • Complete at least two years of one foreign language. Students are encouraged to complete three years to be competitive applicants to selective colleges and universities. (It is recommended that entering freshmen complete one year of a foreign language prior to ninth grade.)
  • Take a minimum of six classes each semester. The mentorship/research project may replace one semester class during the senior year.
  • Complete a senior research or mentorship project.
  • As a capstone experience of each Mathematics & Science Academy student’s program of study, the field experience/mentorship/research project truly sets students apart.
  • The focus of the project is in a field of math, science, or technology and integrates the foundational topics studied in the preceding years. Students elect to complete a research project or mentorship with a practicing scientist, mathematician, or a like professional.  
  • Participate in several science or math state or national competitions

Academic Competitions

Each Mathematics & Science Academy student, during their program of study, must compete in a minimum of two academic competitions. A student may take a semester class in which they prepare, under the guidance of a staff member, for the competition.

Once the competition is completed the student will write a self -evaluation summary paper, which will include recommendations to future students who will compete in the same or similar arena. A student may satisfy this component outside the regular class day in an approved competition under the guidance of a staff member in order to free up time to take additional electives during the regular school day. The following competitions are pre-approved (but not limited to) for meeting this requirement:

  • AZ State Science Fair  
  • Science Olympiad
  • First Robotics
  • Odyssey of the Minds
  • Science Bowl
  • AZ State Math Contest*
  • The Math League High School Contest
  • American Mathematics Contest 10,12
  • American Invitational Math Exam
  • Vex Robotics

* Every Math and Science Academy student is expected to participate in the AZ State Math Contest.

FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.

 It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Saguaro, Chaparral, Arcadia and Coronado had FRC teams participate in the two Arizona Regionals.

The program requires about 20 hours a week for six weeks straight. That would means after school and on Saturdays for six weeks (this is less time commitment than most sports). If you are interested in being a part of the (first) Saguaro FIRST Robotics team contact as a student, parent or volunteer please contact Mr. Brandt at cbrandt@susd.org.

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad

The Saguaro Science Olympiad team competed in the Sate Science Olympiad held at Glendale Community College. Each school-based team is allowed to bring 15 students who cross-train for a variety of events in their skill set, but Saguaro had two teams competing with a total of 28 students involved. Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 25 team events. This year, our students competed in a variety of events focused on genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. Forty three teams from across the state participated this year—that’s more than 600 students. Seventy five percent of the Saguaro team members won awards in at least one event.

If you are interested in being a part of the Saguaro Science Olympiad Team or The Saguaro Science Bowl team as a student, parent or volunteer please contact Mrs. Moll at ajohnson@susd.org .

Math & Science Academy Field Trips

This past year, students from the Math & Science Academy participated in a field trip to Glendale Community College for the Science and Nursing Day as well as the Forensics Day.

Saguaro students attended the Health Science Day at Grand Canyon University. Students from our health science classes, HPA and our Math & Science Academy who have an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare learned from speakers working in various health-related career fields and participated in many other exciting activities.

Saguaro's Math & Science Academy students attended a field trip to the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute. They also attended a field trip to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN) to learn about the latest technological advancements happening with the human genome.

Contacts

Susan Lindberg
Christopher Brandt

MSA Program Coordinators
Saguaro High School
6250 N 82nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

MSA Information Website
MSA Calendar