Our Mission

EDUCATIONAL MISSION, VISION, & CORE VALUES

VISION:

The Academy for Science and Design’s STEM-focused program is advancing global citizenship by fostering curiosity, innovation, and leadership for all learners.

In constructing the school’s original charter, founders envisioned New Hampshire having a world- class high school for science truly based on competitive educational programs and cutting edge international applications in order to address the growing national concern for science and math education. Founders envisioned not only a school excellent for academics, but also for the well- being of students--a school not only beneficial for students who attend, but also for the State as a whole. Further, founders envisioned ASD to be a resource to other education providers, to broaden the scope of curriculum in STEM subjects, to strengthen connections to NH colleges, and to engage with local businesses. Finally, the vision of students graduating from the Academy for Science and Design held by the original founders in 2007 was one of capable and confident young adults with the curiosity, understanding, and ability to address the challenges of their lives, as well as those faced by others at the local, national, and global level.

Over the last decade, ASD's strategies for encouraging and challenging all students to fulfill their potential as lifelong learners, innovators, and leaders have evolved into a unique approach to personalized learning across the entire school experience, including opportunities for students' self-directed inquiries and project development outside the classroom in either direct or indirect relationship with teachers' pre-established coursework. These independent inquiries and projects often inform the ongoing refinements teachers make to their courses. ASD continues to have an emphasis on being a “world class” school that promotes a global understanding for all students, empowering them to make positive contributions to the larger word around them. To ensure that all students benefit academically, personally, and socially from this synergistic approach to learning as a community, ASD has developed a culture of encouragement for individual inquiry and risk- taking, supported school-wide by teachers, administrators, students, and the ASD Board of Trustees; as well by the school's large network of volunteers, parents, and industry partners.

MISSION:

Through our innovative STEM-focused program, the Academy for Science and Design fosters an environment that inspires, nurtures, and challenges every student; cultivating their individual abilities to lead advancements in science and technology, as well as to become thoughtful, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

Serving as both a public, open-enrollment middle school and a high school with a STEM-focus, the Academy for Science and Design is committed to engaging a diversity of student learners at both of these levels through an exemplary structure for broadening student access to STEM-focused learning opportunities. Accordingly, ASD’s program design is the school’s signature strategy for the academic success of the variety of students who enter the school - a strategy focused on providing early exposure to opportunities in STEM that younger students may be unaware of, and then encouraging and supporting those students as they pursue a highly personalized pathway to a specialized STEM field in high school.

ASD’s middle school program provides younger students the chance to explore, where by design all students are exposed to aerospace, physics, environmental science, engineering, computer science, biology, and chemistry. Students completing ASD’s middle school program enter high school either as students continuing into ASD’s more specialized STEM curriculum or as students moving into district or private institutions with both a keen awareness of these fields, and knowledge about their potential interests and abilities to continue to study such fields. These exploratory courses, often taught by industry professionals, combined with their engagement in ASD's many planned and incidental learning experiences described earlier in this application, have a profound and lasting impact on students, including those who may have been only curious about STEM upon enrolling in ASD.

Students who choose to continue into ASD’s high school program, or students who enter the high school program from other institutions, are empowered to declare an area of specialization within STEM, allowing them to explore more deeply into a field of their own choice. This deeper understanding culminates in a capstone senior project, in tandem with an internship experience, giving students an authentic opportunity to demonstrate their ability and interest to continue their studies beyond the walls of ASD. A remarkable sense of ownership over their high school education is reflected in ASD graduates’ continued support of the mission of the school as alumnae, often inspired to return to share their experiences with students still progressing through the program.

To support the aforementioned mission and vision statements, the Academy for Science and Design subscribes to the following core beliefs:

• Curiosity is a catalyst for learning

• Students deserve to be challenged

• We are all global citizens

• Teachers are also learners

• Industry partners are essential

The core beliefs of the Academy for Science and Design (ASD) reflect the school’s dedication to inspiring, engaging, and challenging our students to become the next generation of problem- solvers, students with not only highly developed academic abilities, but also with a keen global awareness and commitment to improving the lives of others. This latter objective, addressed through an approach that engages students in designing solutions to real-world problems, drives student learning across the ASD curriculum.


 

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