Education

Sparta High School's STEM Academy

87cbe2fc5c15ba7a59b2_STEM_academy.jpg
STEM Academy students begin Bio Medical Engineering course with a mystery Credits: Provided by Sparta High School
87cbe2fc5c15ba7a59b2_STEM_academy.jpg

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta High School is offering a unique and challenging program of study for a selected group of students.  The STEM Academy began this September with 14 students in the BioMedical Engineering track.

STEM is the acromym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The students had to apply in eighth grade for acceptance into this rigorous program.  They were evaluated based on academic grades, teacher recommendation and a placement test.

Sign Up for E-News

According to Science Supervisor Marissa Wilson, the goals of the Academy are to

  • provide rich program of studies for the four years at Sparta High School,
  • provide a direct pathway for students to enroll in as many high level math and science courses as possible,
  • establish research opportunities and partnerships with universities or local businesses.

The curriculum, used nationwide, is called Project Lead the Way.  It uses an overarching forensic study to infuse the biological medical engineering concepts into the lessons.  Within the first week of school students entered their classroom that had been turned into a crime scene.  They will spend the rest of the year solving the mystery of the death of Anna Garcia. 

They first looked at Anna Garcia’s medical history, using that as a platform to investigate subjects such as disease and DNA.  They look at forensic concepts such as blood splatter to  gain an understanding of the biology behind it.

The schedule of classes for these 14 students does not look much different from those of their classmates’.  They will be studying all of their academic classes at the highest levels.  Even the humanity classes are honors level courses. 

“Practicing scientist report that 80 percent of what they do is reading and writing,” said Wilson.  “So the students have to be strong in English and Social Studies as well and Math and Science.”

The STEM Academy students rotate through their schedule with their other freshmen classmates.  They are in English, History, physical education and lunch with them.  It is the elective science and math classes where the Academy students come together. These students have Principals of Bio Medical Science, Honors Physical Science which combines the study of physics and chemistry and Honors Algebra II or Honors Geometry.   

In the subsequent years they will have Human Body Systems, Biomedical Innovations and Medical Intervention as their Academy electives.  The student will have the opportunity to take seven Advanced Placement courses by graduation.

“There are similar electives or we will be developing them so the STEM skills will be available to all students,” said Wilson.

The STEM Academy Bio Engineering teacher is Sarah Cayan.  She received training both through a self-paced course and workshops at Stevenson University over the summer.

Wilson said, “Sarah Cayan was excited with the training.  It was high tech and cutting edge.”  Adding, “There are colleges that recognize the Project Lead the Way courses.”

The costs associated with the Academy were for classroom supplies that are also being used for other courses. 

Next year the STEM Academy will add Engineering and Design as a course of study.  Lisa Tafuri will be teaching the courses and is currently developing the curriculum.  She previously taught at Union County Tech High School. 

“The program is being developed from curriculum we already have and from [Lisa’s] experience teaching at a tech school.  She’s pretty outstanding,” said Wilson.

Computer Programing will be added to the STEM Academy in 2017.  Wilson said they will be teaching four different computer programing courses; software engineering, computer programming and coding classes.

The school is currently seeking to partner with private individuals and universities to work with the students as they continue through the Academy.  Project Lead the Way does provide some contacts with Stevens, NJIT and others.  Wilson said they would welcome members of the community to join them in working with these talented students.

Students from outside of Sparta can apply to be admitted as tuition students to this and all programs of study at Sparta High School and other grades as available.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_731db9e3e271373f9a07_library_winter__2018_tapinto_montville4

Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Paper Airplane Challenge

Education

Carousel_image_a1e0d610d1aa73fa1837_0eb64679-6d22-4fd0-8df2-5afc1b4ad4b6

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Monthly Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_a9bf50845abee2b52c7e_high_school_montville_township_high_school__2018_tapinto_montville_____1.

Tue, April 24, 7:30 PM

Montville Township High School, Montville

Board of Ed @HIGH SCHOOL

Education

Carousel_image_449c9683624fc0df433b_a_township_committee_2018__2018_tapinto_montville

Tue, April 24, 8:00 PM

Montville Township Municipal Building, Montville

Montville Township Committee Meeting

Government

Calling For The Resignation of Councilwoman June Witty

April 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

This week, Montville Township Republican Committeewoman, June Witty, posted a chart depicting a swastika that compared Democrats to Nazis on her personal Facebook page. This post by Committeewoman Witty was not only insensitive to township residents registered as Democrats but, more importantly, this post is rooted in hate and vitriol toward the Jewish Community. Anti-Semitism is ...

OneMontville Hosts Community Screening of “Love, Simon” with MSLstories.com

April 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - OneMontville announces a community screening of the new film, “Love, Simon” in coordination with MSLstories.com. The screening will take place on Sunday, May 6 at the AMC Theaters in Wayne, NJ starting at 3:45pm. Tickets are available for $9 per person, and may be purchased through local businesses promoting the event. Tickets are currently available at ...

Short Evacuation Occurs at MTHS

April 17, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – A short evacuation occurred at Montville Township High School on April 17.

After the regular 2:10 p.m. dismissal, a fire alarm sounded but an announcement was made naming it a false alarm, according to a student who was in the building for an extracurricular activity.

The alarm again went off at 2:18 p.m. and the student said an announcement was made that the building ...

Police Officer Offers Cyber Safety Tips

April 21, 2018

POMPTON PLAINS, NJ – Sergeant Tom Rich of the Summit Police Department spoke before a room packed with parents wanting to hear about technology’s effect on their children and his seminar entitled “Media & Cyber Safety: Protecting Children and Teens” on April 12.

The 20-year police veteran discussed his passion for working with and helping children. He said that in a ...

Newton Student Collects Stuffed Animals for Sick Children

April 22, 2018

NEWTON, NJ – A young Merriam Avenue School student is collecting new stuffed animals for the children and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.  Haeleigh Lestz asked her third grade teacher Nik Lasso if she could do a project in class.

Lestz told Lasso she wanted to collect the soft toys because she “felt it was important that the children and their siblings had ...

OneMontville Hosts Community Screening of “Love, Simon” with MSLstories.com

April 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - OneMontville announces a community screening of the new film, “Love, Simon” in coordination with MSLstories.com. The screening will take place on Sunday, May 6 at the AMC Theaters in Wayne, NJ starting at 3:45pm. Tickets are available for $9 per person, and may be purchased through local businesses promoting the event. Tickets are currently available at ...

Columns

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 21 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 22 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
172 Pine Brook Road, Montville
10 ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 open houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 14 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 15 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  42 Horseneck Road, Montville

2.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, April 7 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 8 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
42 Horseneck Road, ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 4 p.m.  

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
1 Kirsten Court, Towaco
42 Horseneck Road, Montville

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 3 p.m.

12 Pond View, Montville

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Pet Corner