STEM Department

Science Mission Statement

The mission of the MICDS Science Department is to develop scientifically literate citizens who engage in the practice and wonder of science. Students use critical thinking to question, investigate, and analyze phenomena and information in order to understand a complex and changing universe and engineer solutions to improve the world.

Math Mission Statement

The Mission of the MICDS Math Department is to graduate students who embrace the power and beauty of mathematical thinking. Students are taught to proficiently interpret numbers, communicate their mathematical ideas and observations, apply quantitative reasoning to solve problems, and embrace challenges with curiosity and eagerness.

STEM Guiding Principle:

“It’s time to stop thinking in terms of a pipeline from STEM degrees to STEM jobs… When you look closely at the data, you see that a degree in S&E is a passport to many jobs in stem and non-STEM fields alike. Many of us on the Board were surprised to learn that about half of S&E degree holders work in non-STEM jobs, yet most individuals in these jobs see them as related to their field of degree. Perhaps we ought to shift from asking ‘how many STEM workers do we need’ to ‘what knowledge and skills do all of our workers need to be successful now and in the future? – NSB Vice Chairman Kelvin Droegemeier, who also chairs the Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators Committee.

Curriculum

STEM Curricula

Science Courses & Curriculum

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Math Courses & Curriculum

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Class Experiences

Rovers in math class

Class Experiences

Fire extinguisher project

Class Experiences

Coding in math and science

Class Experiences

Electives in science

Class Experiences

Makerspace

Makerspace

The next generation must include those who think critically.

At MICDS, we fuel a spirit of inquiry—and teach sophisticated concepts and research skills—by doing science and engineering. Introducing students to foundational scientific concepts and laboratory techniques, we provide the tools that shift, over time, from teacher-directed learning to student-driven discovery. Students formulate experiments to test questions—gathering evidence, analyzing data, communicating findings, and discovering the next round of important questions that rise from that work.

Through this work, students learn to deconstruct a problem, formulate a plan, observe closely, and identify what they don’t know. They develop the skills and confidence to execute intricate and complex research experiments that help them develop scientific knowledge and understanding that builds as they progress through the program from the foundational tenets of physics, chemistry, and biology, to advanced electives such as XXX, XXX, and XXX.

In the 2021-22 academic year, 85% of students worked in the Makerspace as part of their science curriculum.

  • The Ninth Grade Chemical and Physical Systems class test Newtonian physics with a roller coaster design project
  • The 10th Grade Biochemical Applications class designed Class B fire extinguishers with CAD, 3D printers
  • Exploratory Botany built signs for a virtual herbarium with a laser cutter
  • The Human Body strand designs and builds shoes
  • There’s a partnership with 3rd Grade classes about game design
  •  There’s space and equipment support of the STEM and Robotics clubs?

Extracurriculars

Department-related Extracurriculars

In the Upper School, students have opportunities to participate in the following department-related extracurricular activities:

Robotics

Robotics

The Robotics program has multiple teams that compete in FIRST Tech Robotics (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Challenge competitions. Computer programming, engineering, digital fabrication, and the design process are integral parts of robotics. In addition, there is a strong outreach component, allowing students to share their passion for robotics with others at MICDS and the wider community. Students will compete in at least four tournaments between December and March. MICDS hosts a competition in January. Practices are in the evening and are where students build and program their robots.

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad

Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is the premier team STEM competition in the nation, providing standards-based challenges. Categories include life, personal & social science, earth and space science, physical science & chemistry, technology & engineering, and inquiry & nature of science. 

TEAMS

TEAMS

Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) is an annual, theme-based competition that provides high school students with the opportunity to discover engineering with the potential to make a difference in the world. Teams of two to four students apply their knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real-world engineering challenges.

HOSA

HOSA

HOSA-Future Health Professionals is an international organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of ACTE. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare to all people.

HOSA is the place for students to expand upon the learning opportunities offered in the classroom. HOSA is not just a club—it is an organization that promotes career opportunities in healthcare and supports young people who plan to become the next generation of health professionals. HOSA allows all interested students to take a giant leap toward their own interests in Health Sciences and/or medicine. This professional organization is designed to give students something “extra” which will help them to take their place more effectively in work and society. HOSA is 100% healthcare.

In our HOSA Chapter, we stress leadership through the election of student officers. We emphasize participation through social activities, leadership development sessions, business meetings, and friendly competition by means of skill and academic contests on the local, state, and national levels.

Math Team

Math Team

The Math Team is a group of students who participate in competitions on city, regional, state, and national levels. The AMC (American Mathematics Contest) is an annual international competition that allows high-scoring students to participate in competitions that require an invitation. The math team works together to learn about math topics that are outside of the typical curriculum and investigate challenging problems.

Sustainable Futures

Sustainable Futures

The goal of the Sustainable Futures Club is to help members of the MICDS community live more sustainable lives. The club hopes to provide opportunities for students to take direct action on environmental issues by participating in service/volunteer opportunities and other efforts to raise awareness of sustainable alternatives in everyday activities. In addition, the club aims to partner with organizations, such as the Missouri Department of Conservation, to provide experiences in the outdoors that will increase members’ appreciation for our local ecosystem and teach valuable outdoor skills.

Astronomy Club

Astronomy Club

Computer Programming Competitions

Computer Programming Competitions

Students have the opportunity to compete in international coding competitions that challenge them to think critically and solve difficult problems. Students apply their knowledge from class as well as knowledge gained through extracurricular programming activities. Coding competitions include both applying student knowledge through code as well as conceptual questions over advanced computing topics such as number systems, boolean algebra, data structures, and graph theory.

Independent Studies

Design your own Independent Study.

Upper School students who wish to enrich their studies beyond the currently offered departmental courses are welcome to propose their own Independent Study. To participate, students select a faculty member to work with and submit an application for Independent Study with a detailed project prospectus. Once approved by the Upper School Academic Team, students work with that faculty member throughout the semester or year and develop their own reading lists, discussion topics, assessments, etc.

Summer Opportunities

Non-MICDS Summer Opportunities

Looking for something STEM-related to do over the summer? Check out the non-MICDS opportunities below:

STARS

Tyson Research: SIFT

Shaw Institute for Field Training

Tyson Research: TERA

Tyson Environmental Research Apprenticeship

Other Opportunities

STEM Faculty

Meet Our Faculty