Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Eighty-five mostly Edmonds School District ninth and tenth graders are taking part in a new educational program starting this year at Mountlake Terrace High School: The STEM Magnet School. “It is a four-year program designed to give students a focused, rigorous experience in the STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – disciplines,” explained Mountlake Terrace High School principal Greg Schwab.
STEM programs are becoming more popular in school districts statewide; Mountlake Terrace High School is hosting the first and only four-year STEM program in the Edmonds School District.
Students in the STEM Magnet School will take advanced math, advanced science and foundational engineering courses during their first two years. In the 11th grade, students will choose from one of three STEM Pathways: Biotechnology, Aerospace Engineering or Computer Programming and Robotics. During their last two years, students will take two courses in one of these pathways as well as continuing to take advanced math and science courses. In 12th grade, all STEM students will complete a capstone class where they design and implement a project to present to a panel in the spring.
“Students will also fulfill requirements in English, Social Studies and other core requirements as part of their academic program,” Schwab added.
MTHS freshman Nate Gallagher had two simple reasons for enrolling in the STEM School; “I chose the STEM program because I enjoy math, and I am considering a career in the future in the engineering/mechanical field,” he said. “I am excited about doing more math and learning more about engineering.”
Of the 85 students in the STEM program, 55 are freshman, while the remaining 30 are sophomores. Three of the enrollees have chosen to come from outside the Edmonds School District.