STEM education encompasses the processes of critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration in which students integrate the processes and concepts in real world contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,
Science: Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, and conventions associated with these disciplines. Students discover and learn about the natural world by using the methods of science as extensions of their own curiosity and wonder in accordance with the Next Generation Science Standards. Students acquire knowledge of science concepts through a balanced curriculum, which includes building on their prior understandings to learn about the logic of the scientific method and the applications of science to the world around them. Students develop the critical thinking skills of science utilizing the Crosscutting Concepts of patterns, cause and effect, scale, proportion and quantity, systems, energy and matter, structure and function, and stability and change. Students are expected to engage, explore, explain, elaborate on and evaluate throughout their scientific studies. All students have access to the science core curriculum and are exposed to life, earth and space, and the physical sciences as well as engineering and technology in alignment with the State Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Technology: Ventura Charter School's goal is to educate our students to participate fully in the Digital Age. Technology has changed the way we work, learn, play and communicate; it is fully integrated and utilized in interdisciplinary projects and learning activities throughout the grades. Our students are growing up digital, and by using the tools in which they are proficient, they become more engaged in their learning. We are committed to providing a learning environment that promotes logical thinking, curiosity, global awareness, and self-directed, independent learning. Teachers model effective integration of technology into instruction. Ventura Charter School provides one-to-one devices in grades 3-8. Students learn keyboard and word processing skills, and progress to networking and collaborating with student peers around the world on educational projects. Read the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) position statement on the use of technology with young children HERE.
Engineering: Where students apply scientific knowledge and mathematics to design solutions for authentic real-world problems. Engineering is both a body of knowledge—about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. This process is design under constraint. One constraint in engineering design is the laws of nature, or science. Other constraints include time, money, available materials, ergonomics, environmental regulations, manufacturability, and reparability. Engineering utilizes concepts from science and mathematics as well as technological tools. (Engineering Design in the NGSS (PDF))
Math: VCS students are provided a mathematics program that aligns with the new math standards and allows them to develop the necessary conceptual understanding, computation, application, and problem solving skills to meet expectations in the Mathematics State Standards. It is VCS’ goal to help students develop a sense of confidence about their ability to understand and apply mathematics in their everyday lives utilizing the eight Mathematical Practices to gain mastery of the State Standards for mathematical content. VCS strives to address both the habits of mind that mathematicians engage in as well as the content knowledge and level of rigor necessary to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.