The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) department in Melrose aims to prepare our students for the jobs of the future. According to a report from the US Department of Commerce, employment in STEM fields has grown at a faster rate than non-STEM fields over the last ten years, and STEM workers make an average of 29% more than non-STEM workers. Our mission is to prepare all students to become successful and effective problem solvers in an ever-changing world. We strive to teach our students to ask questions, make sense of problems, analyze and interpret data, use tools appropriately, and communicate effectively. Through the STEM courses in Melrose, our students will engage in hands-on experiments, cross-curricular projects, deep and creative problem solving, and will be exposed to a wide variety of innovative teachers and courses to spark their curiosity about STEM fields.
The mathematics curriculum is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, adopted in 2011, updated in 2017. The frameworks are composed of content standards that span over six conceptual categories: Number and Quantity, Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Modeling, and Statistics and Probability, and eight practice standards outlined below. All of the standards are aligned with college and career expectations and prepare all students with the skills and knowledge needed for post-graduation success. The frameworks provide our students with the opportunity to experience a more focused, coherent, and rigorous curriculum. The key elements to achieve mathematical proficiency include conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, application, and use of mathematical practices. Students are expected to gain a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, carry out procedures accurately and efficiently, apply concepts and skills to new situations, and use the habits of mind called for in the practices effectively and efficiently. Students are expected to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts through complex problem solving and writing and speaking about their understanding.
In addition to traditional mathematics courses, we offer Accelerated Algebra/Pre-Calculus, two levels of Statistics, four levels of Calculus, and two levels of Computer Science, including four AP courses (Statistics, Calculus AB and BC, and Computer Science).
The Standards for Mathematical Practice
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
- Model with mathematics
- Use appropriate tools strategically
- Attend to precision
- Look for and make use of structure
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
Science and Technology Engineering (STE)
The courses in Science and Technology Engineering serve two objectives: 1) to ensure that those individuals who desire to pursue science-related studies and careers will be prepared with a good foundation necessary to continue further education and training and 2) to provide students with a challenging learning environment to attain a common core of knowledge, concepts, skills, analytical methods and strategies to become responsible citizens, and successful problem solvers in a changing world. The Science and Engineering Practices outlined below are aligned with college and career expectations and include the skills necessary to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. Students are expected to develop a deep understanding of scientific inquiry and apply and communicate information effectively and efficiently.
In addition to the traditional STE courses, we offer a variety of elective courses such as Marine Science, Bioethical Issues, Forensics, Video Production, Robotics, Computer Aided Design, Business Management, Accounting, and 6 AP courses (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1, Physics C, and Computer Science).
The Science and Engineering Practices
- Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
- Developing and using models.
- Planning and carrying out investigations.
- Analyzing and interpreting data.
- Using mathematics and computational thinking.
- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
- Engaging in argument from evidence.
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.