At the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, curriculum is tailored to students who have a passion for science, technology, engineering or math. Our environment is one of support for students, parents, and faculty. We exist to provide opportunities for students to Dream. Discover. Design. Every day, our students set goals and generate ideas, research and discover answers, and design real solutions for the kinds of real-world problems that they’ll face after graduation. There is plenty of support for anyone who needs it and advancement opportunities for those who are ready to move ahead. An innovative schedule provides each student the time and support necessary to prepare for their advanced courses.
At the end of ninth grade students select a concentration area. They choose from Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, or Life Science. All of these concentration areas are rich with educational and career opportunities in Pittsburgh, in Western Pennsylvania, and across the globe.
Each concentration area is a series of eight courses that is unique to SciTech. These courses are filled with challenging projects and hands-on experiences that take students far beyond the traditional high school science experience. Students are introduced to skills and ideas that are usually reserved for college.
There are a limited number of spaces available in each concentration, so in some cases students may not get their first choice. However, in the most recent years nearly all of the students have gotten their first choice. However, if that is not always the case the four concentrations have enough overlap to ensure that all students graduate prepared for success in any field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics or in any other area of interest.
Focus groups and economic analysis have determined that the STEM Concentrations should be the (1) Environmental Sciences called Environment and Energy, (2) Life Sciences called Body and Behavior, (3) Engineering Sciences called Form and Functions, and (4) Computer Sciences called Computers and Connections.
Middle School Students and STEM Concentrations
Students do not enter a science and technology concentration until after the equivalent of the ninth grade. The middle years do not limit students, or focus them in a specific science and technology field, but they do:
- Teach scientific thinking and inquiry skills;
- Emphasize experimentation with technology in problem solving contexts;
- Work to cultivate curiosity and develop questioning capabilities; and
- Develop the math, writing, and reading necessary for success in a rigorous science curriculum.
The middle grades program focuses on establishing enthusiasm for learning, and building the skills based foundation for academic success, not on specializing students in science and technology. The configuration is important given the very rigorous high school program. Motivated students who need additional support have the opportunity to prepare for success at the upper levels.