Aberdeen Science and Math Academy (SMA)
The Aberdeen Science and Math Academy (SMA) is a school-within-a-school magnet program that provides academically talented students with educational experiences that integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics beyond the traditional advanced program. Admission to this rigorous four-year program is by competitive application based on prior academic success, interest and motivation in science and mathematics, teacher recommendations and written communication skills. Entering students must be ready for Algebra II as an entry level mathematics class, having completed courses in Algebra I and geometry prior to high school.
The SMA offers a college preparatory program which provides students the opportunity to engage in challenging coursework that will prepare them for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities in higher education. All courses emphasize program solving and creative thinking by using multiple resources and inquiry-based learning. Advanced placement courses in science and mathematics are offered to students, as well as a large selection of semester electives based on students’ interest and faculty experience.
Exclusive to the SMA is a four-year sequenced series of courses called Science, Research and Technology (SRT I-IV) which provides all students with an opportunity to integrate STEM curriculum in relevant and authentic research. Regular contact with practicing scientists, engineers and mathematicians is provided throughout the program. Beginning in the junior year of the SRT course sequence, each student is introduced to a variety of research and career options in:
- Biotechnology & medical sciences
- Pre-engineering & physical sciences
- Computational sciences & mathematics
- Geosciences & environmental sciences
In the senior year, each student conducts a capstone research project under the mentorship of a professional scientist, mathematician or engineer. The year-long capstone project concludes with a scientific poster and presentation to peers, faculty, parents and mentors.
Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), one of the premier research facilities in the Department of Defense, has been part of the planning and design of the SMA since its beginning. The Science and Mathematics Academy Advisory Board is, comprised of professionals from APG, science and technology companies and regional universities, meets quarterly to discuss the curriculum, co-curricular experiences, post-secondary preparation and professional development opportunities for faculty and students.
Partnerships with local science and technology corporations such as Battelle, Northeastern Technology Council and Army Research Lab provide additional support for faculty and students.