Nevada Virtual Academy’s STEM Model

What is the STEM model?

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and lessons are integrated in all content areas at every grade level. The objectives and focus vary from one grade to the next, but the goal is for all students to better understand how STEM relates to every content area.

How does it benefit students?

The STEM model prepares students for the competitive arenas of post high school education and the global job market, where the last decade has seen STEM-related jobs grow three times faster than other jobs. STEM learning environments foster teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving skills. The STEM approach engages students, ensuring they better remember what they've learned.

STEM-Specific Programs

STEM clubs and groups include:

  • K-5 STEM night
  • K-5 robotics night
  • MS/HS robotics
  • The Scalable Game Design program MS elective (fall 2015 semester)
  • Teams for robotic competitions across grade levels (2015-2016 school year)

Week-long camps for all grades are held during the spring and summer breaks. They provide hands-on learning activities, guest speakers, and field trips and include:

  • Beginning to advanced robotics
  • Computer programming with Scratch and Python
  • Ecosystems and habitats
  • BrickLab architecture
  • Forensic science
  • Astronomy and outer space
  • Roller coaster physics

What curriculum and materials support the STEM model?

STEM-related curriculum and materials include:

  • "Green Boxes" from the Desert Research Institute--each box includes materials and curriculum for a variety of science content areas
  • LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots--curriculum from a variety of sources including LEGO Education, Portland State University STEM Robotics, and the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
  • BrickLab building bricks and LEGO Digital Designer software
  • VEX robotics--curriculum from a variety of sources including VEX Robotics and the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
  • Solar, salt, and hydrocar robot/vehicles from Green Science
  • Cubelets
  • PCS robotics curriculum and materials with LEGO Power Functions
  • EQ-ROBO 1+2+3
  • Aldebaran NAO robots
  • Scalable Game Design program in conjunction with AgentSheets software and the University of Colorado
  • Dash & Dot robots--curriculum from Wonder Workshop