The purpose of the STEM programs is to prepare students for college and graduate study in the STEM fields as well as to foster inquiring minds, logical reasoning, and collaboration skills. In the real world, each one of these fields is intertwined with the others, and therefore all four disciplines are taught together to create a comprehensive STEM curriculum. STEM education uses hands-on, experiential, and inquiry-based lesson plans built on real-world applications.

School offers a variety of STEM opportunities in the forms of both classes and clubs. Classes allow students to earn 1 credit per semester while clubs earn 1/2 credit.

**STEM Courses (worth 1 semister credit per semester)**

**STEM Clubs (worth 1/2 semister credit per semester)**

- Geometry
- Algebra 2
- Pre-Calculus
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Statistics
- Biology
- Chemistry

- Physics
- AP Chemistry
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Physics 1
- Informational Techology
- Multimedia Journalism
- Digital Art

- Botany Club
- Graphics Design Club
- Environmental Issues Club
- Digital Photography Club

- Math Club
- Geometry Club
- Chess Club

**Geometry (year-long)**

Course Description: This one-year course is a logical development of the inductive and deductive systems of reasoning. Emphasis is on developing visualization abilities, analytical skills, and logical reasoning through activity-oriented methods of instruction.

Prerequisites: Algebra 1 (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 8-10

**Algebra 2 (year-long)**

Course Description: This second-year course in algebra represents a mathematical progression from the concept of numbers as experienced in arithmetic to the notion of properties of numbers without regard to their value, a necessary tool for science applications. Formal abstraction will enable students to understand and analyze data in many occupational and academic fields.

Prerequisites: Geometry (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 8-12

**Precalculus (year-long)**

Course Description: Precalculus is the in-depth study and application of advanced algebra, analytic geometry, and trigonometry, emphasizing the use of technology, modeling, and problem-solving. The goals are to provide students with the critical-thinking skills and the mathematical know-how needed to succeed in college. As statistics are increasingly used in college coursework, the workplace, and everyday life, this course introduces combinatorics and statistical analysis. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for Calculus.

Prerequisites: Algebra 2 with a C- or higher (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 10-12

**AP Calculus AB (year-long)**

Course Description: AP Calculus AB is an introductory college-level calculus course. Students cultivate their understanding of differential and integral calculus through engaging with real-world problems represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally and using definitions and theorems to build arguments and justify conclusions as they explore concepts like change, limits, and the analysis of functions.

Prerequisites: Precalculus with a B- or higher (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 10-12

**AP Calculus BC (year-long)**

Course Description: AP Calculus BC is an introductory college-level calculus course. Students cultivate their understanding of differential and integral calculus through engaging with real-world problems represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally and using definitions and theorems to build arguments and justify conclusions as they explore concepts like change, limits, and the analysis of functions. AP Calculus BC differs from AP Calculus AB by moving at a faster pace and covering more content.

Prerequisites: Precalculus with a B- or higher (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 10-12

**AP Statistics (year-long)**

Course Description: The AP Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding.

Prerequisites: Algebra 2 with a C- or higher (or have equivalent math skills).

Grade Level: 10-12

**Biology (year-long)**

Course Description: Biology is the study of life. During this course students will learn key concepts about biology and the diversity of life surrounding us. After this course, he/she will understand most topical subjects, such as: tumors, cloning, stem cells, etc. In addition, by learning the scientific method, he/she will acquire a different way of thinking.

Prerequisites: none

Grade Level: 9

**Chemistry (year-long)**

Course Description: Chemistry is the study of the principles of matter and the changes that matter undergoes. In the fall semester, students will develop scientific skills as they explore atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical formulas and compounds, and chemical reactions. In the second semester, students will study stoichiometry, gases and phase changes, solutions, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, and organic chemistry.

Prerequisites: none

Grade Level: 10

**Physics (year-long)**

Course Description: Physics is the application of mathematics to real world situations in order to understand how the universe around us works. This is a college preparatory physics course that includes probability, statistics, the scientific method, motion, force, gravity, linear motion, circular motion, momentum, optics, electricity, energy, waves, and modern physics.

Prerequisites: Algebra 2

Grade Level: 11-12

**AP Chemistry (year-long)**

Course Description: AP Chemistry is an introductory college-level chemistry course. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based lab investigations as they explore the four Big Ideas: scale, proportion, and quantity; structure and properties of substances; transformations; and energy.

Prerequisites: Chemistry, 3.0 GPA and teacher recommendation

Grade Level: 11-12

**AP Physics 1 (year-long)**

Course Description: AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like systems, fields, force interactions, change, conservation, and waves.

Prerequisites: 3.0 GPA and teacher recommendation

Grade Level: 11-12

**AP Environmental Science (year-long)**

Course Description: Explore and investigate the interrelationships of the natural world and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made. You’ll take part in laboratory investigations and field work.

Prerequisites: 3.0 GPA and teacher recommendation

Grade Level: 11-12

**Information Technology (1 semester-long)**

Course Description: This course is an introductory course designed to teach students proficient skills in Microsoft Office. This course will also briefly cover an introduction to computer programming. The course provides hands-on exercises to help students build confidence and proficiency using the Microsoft Office interface and features. Each lesson contains “How To” procedures separated from the instruction to ensure that students learn, not just doing. Assignments also incorporate cross-curricular exercises to teach software skills while reinforcing English, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science concepts.

Prerequisites: none

Grade Level: 9-12

**Digital Art (1 semester long)**

Course Description: Digital Art expands on foundational skills learned in I.T class and that gives students marketable experience in print media publishing. This course works solely towards the completion of the Saint Paul American School yearbook. Students will compose, construct, and edit all elements of computerized text layout, graphic art, and digital photography. The result is a wonderful artifact that displays student talent and creativity.

Prerequisites: none

Grade Level: 9-12