STEM FAQ

Besides cost, what is the family/student commitment to STEM?
As long as your child is making satisfactory progress in the STEM course of study, your commitment is for one school year at a time. STEM Students registering for classes the next year have priority in choosing a STEM class for the following year.
Does my child need to reapply for the STEM Academy if they were enrolled in a class during the current school year?
Existing STEM Academy students are welcomed and encouraged to schedule the next available course(s) in consultation with their parents, STEM teacher, and Guidance counselor. Their course performance is reviewed each year to determine eligibility to continue in the program.
How can I find out more information?
SLHS will be hosting a STEM Academy Showcase Night Saturday, May 16th, 2020 beginning at 5:00pm. Also, feel free to email our STEM Academy Director, Tim Mielke - mielket@slhs.us
How do I get into the SLHS STEM Academy?

You must apply and get accepted to be part of the SLHS STEM Academy. The application process for STEM Academy is as follows:

  • Apply to be a student at Shoreland Lutheran High School. mytads.com/a/shoreland
  • Complete the STEM Academy Application Form.
  • Obtain the most recent MAP Testing Progress Report from your current school.
  • You will need to contact your current teacher/principal to do this.
  • Obtain the most recent report card IEP (if necessary).
  • You will need to contact your current teacher/principal to do this.
  • Submit a check (or cash) to pay the $25 STEM Academy Application Fee.
  • Make checks payable to: SLHS STEM Academy
  • On the Memo line please write: STEM Academy Application Fee
  • (OPTIONAL) If applying for a scholarship, submit the appropriate scholarship application along with the other remaining documents.
  • Review the Application Checklist
  • Submit items by sending them to:

Shoreland Lutheran High School,

Attn: Student Services - STEM Academy Application

9026 12th St, P.O. Box 295

Somers, WI 5317

Application documents should be submitted no later than March 31, 2020. Do NOT submit partial applications; ALL documents must be included in order for applications to be reviewed.

  • Please contact Mr. Tim Mielke - STEM Academy Director (mielket@slhs.us, 262-859-2595 x 114) with additional questions regarding the program, the application process, or the application status.
How does applying for the STEM Academy affect my course selection?

Inform your Guidance Counselor that you are applying to be in the STEM Academy and they will add that class into your schedule. If you decide not to be in the STEM Academy or are not accepted that class will be removed.

How does STEM fit in the academic day?
STEM is like an elective. Students who take a STEM class or enroll as Freshmen in the STEM Academy will still have to take all of the math and science classes required to graduate from SLHS.
How many spots are available?

The current STEM Academy budget plans for up to 24 students per class.

How much homework should I expect my child to bring home?
The amount of homework a student could potentially have is largely dependent on their academic abilities and the quality use of in-class and study hall time while at school. On average, traditionally enrolled students will have 1-2 hours of homework a night. Students enrolled in the Academy can likely expect an additional 30 minutes on average per evening.
I don’t know if I am smart enough to be in the STEM Academy.
Students of all backgrounds and abilities can be successful in the STEM Academy. Students that desire to be life-long learners and want to learn how and why things work and how to solve problems are the students that do well.
I don’t know if I want to work in a STEM related field. Should I still take STEM?
Students receive significant benefits from STEM Academy courses even if they do not choose to pursue a career in one of the three pathways we offer. The courses give a good exposure to different fields within each pathway, so they are useful in helping a student decide if that is the direction they want to go, but they also teach valuable skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. These professional skills and lifelong skills that are considered valuable in any area.
Is STEM just for boys?
Absolutely not! In fact, we need more girls that are interested in STEM related fields such as engineering, computer science, and biomedical science. Females are definitely underrepresented in STEM areas of study and careers and we want to help change that.
Is the STEM Academy only meant for students going into medical, science, or engineering careers?
The focus of STEM classes is certainly to provide an introduction to related careers in science (biology, chemistry, human physiology, medicine), technology (computer science, programming), engineering (chemical, electrical, civil, aeronautical), and math. However, students involved in the STEM Academy will develop a broad range of skills that will benefit them in college and in the workplace, regardless of the field they choose.
Is there a fee for the STEM Academy?
There is a $500 fee to be a part of the SLHS STEM Academy. The fee covers course costs including the use of a personal laptop by the students. Students attending SLHS as a WPCP or RPCP family are not assessed the fee. June 30, 2020 is when families will be billed the amount for the course fee once a student is accepted into the program.
My son or daughter is not in the STEM Academy this year, did they lose the chance to take STEM classes later on?
STEM students will have priority in course registration for STEM classes the next year. However, we are willing to take 24 students in a STEM class and will fill remaining seats with qualified applicants.
What are you looking for in a letter of recommendation?

We are looking for evidence from those who have worked with your child that they are willing and capable of completing the STEM Academy program. As always, specific examples are better than general descriptions. Examples may include the following:

  1. Interest in science, math, and/or technology
  2. Background or experience in STEM activities in or outside of school
  3. Willingness to learn and be creative
  4. Self-motivated to complete assignments and projects
  5. Capable of working with others on group projects
  6. A talent for problem solving
  7. Interest in building or taking things apart to explore their functionality
  8. General computer skills
  9. Academic ability (although this doesn’t always make a good candidate
  10. Other seemingly relevant information
What curriculum is used?
Project Lead The Way provides transformative learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW creates an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. Along with the curriculum, schools using PLTW’s curriculum must also partner with local industries and businesses. This is where Mr. Bill Strutz comes into play. A former engineer with InSinkErator, Mr. Strutz is helping SLHS partner with local industries and also acts as a mentor to students in the program. When they have questions about future courses of study, college programs, internships, or challenges in the classroom, Mr. Strutz as our Community Resource Leader, is there with experience to guide the students.
What do I need to do to obtain the earned college credit?

College credit through PLTW is based upon a student’s End of Course Exam Score. The STEM Academy Instructors contact each individual student if they have achieved a score that is eligible for college credit. It is then the responsibility of the student to apply for credit and pay the required fee. The PLTW affiliate in the state of Wisconsin is MSOE. Families should visit PLTW’s Student Opportunities page to learn more. You can also download MSOE’s Undergraduate Application for Credit - PLTW to begin the process.

What if I miss the deadline?
The application window will remain open until all seats have been filled. Once all seats have been filled, additional applicants will be put on a waiting list.
What is STEM?
The acronym STEM was first coined by the National Science Foundation in the early 1990’s.  The term STEM is applied to any policy, event, curriculum, or education program dealing with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but mainly focused on Science and Mathematics. STEM curriculums strive to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. At SLHS the STEM Academy is a special program for students interested in taking engineering or biomedical sciences in their post-secondary education.
What is the benefit for my child in taking extra, rigorous classes each year?

Three specific benefits:

  1. The Project-Based Learning style of the STEM Academy courses is designed to replicate real work experiences in engineering.
  2. Students get to explore the world of engineering and medicine and science and upper level math before college. They get to see if this is something they would like to spend $10,000 worth of tuition on after they graduate SLHS.
  3. Students taking PLTW STEM classes are eligible for college credits on their transcript. While this won’t get them out of college earlier, or allow them to skip college courses, it does give them preference in post secondary scheduling of courses, and may be the difference with acceptance into college programs.
What is the cost to take a STEM class?
The cost is $500 per class. This will cover the materials and usage of a dedicated computer/laptop for class assignments. All room furnishings and teacher training is paid for by grants, third-source funding, or individual donations.Additionally, there is a fee to receive the appropriate credits for a college credit capable course from the awarding institution. Families are not required to purchase these credits but are encouraged to do so. Below is a list of current credit offerings and approximate cost: [table id=7 /]
What is the deadline for applying and when will I find out?
  • November 1st – Application process opens for SLHS STEM Academy 20-21
  • March 31st – Application process closes
  • April 27-May 18 – Selection process takes place
  • May 18th-May 31st – Families notified of acceptance, decline, or waiting list to STEM Academy
  • May 15th – Scholarship Applications due
  • June 30th – $500 STEM Academy fee billed (if accepted)
What is the STEM application process?
Students must apply and be accepted into the SLHS STEM Academy. CLICK HERE to apply. If you have any further questions, please contact our STEM Academy Director, Tim Mielke mielket@slhs.us
What will be covered in each STEM class?
Each of PLTW’s distinct pathways in Biomedical Science, Computer Science, and Engineering is designed as a four-year high school sequence which includes foundational courses, specialized courses, and a capstone course. To receive transcript credit, students in STEM classes will take two foundational courses, one specialized course, and the capstone course. A list of courses as found in each pathway is listed below:



PLTW ENGINEERING

Foundation Courses

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)

Designed for 9th and 10th grade students to expose students to the design process, analysis, engineering standards, and technical documentation. Students will also be introduced to 3D modeling software to design proposed solutions to problems and learn how to communicate their solutions to peers and members of the professional community.

Principles of Engineering (POE)

This survey course of engineering exposes students to major concepts they will encounter in a postsecondary education course of study. Students have design problems proposed to them and they employ engineering and scientific concepts to the challenges and communicate the solutions to peers and members of the professional community.

Computer Science Principles (CSP)

Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation.

Specialized Courses

Aerospace Engineering (AE)

This course propels students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight. As they explore the physics of flight, students bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system, and rockets. They learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software. They also explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.

Capstone Course

Engineering Design & Development (EDD)

Students will perform research to select, define, and justify a problem. After carefully defining the design requirements and creating multiple solution approaches, teams of students select an approach, create, and test their solution prototype. Student teams will present and defend their original solution to an outside panel. While progressing through the engineering design process, students will work closely with experts and will continually hone their organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, their creative and problem solving abilities, and their understanding of the design process. Engineering Design and Development is a high school level course that is appropriate for 12th grade students. Since the projects on which students work can vary with student interest and the curriculum focuses on problem solving, EDD is appropriate for students who are interested in any technical career path. EDD should be taken as the final capstone PLTW course since it requires application of the knowledge and skills introduced during the PLTW foundation courses.          

       

 PLTW BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE

Foundation Courses

Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)

In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.

Human Body Systems (PBS)

In the Human Body Systems (HBS) course, students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases, and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.

Specialized Course

Medical Interventions (MI)

Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.

Capstone Course

Biomedical Innovation (BI)

Students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.

 

PLTW COMPUTER SCIENCE

Foundation Courses

Computer Science Essentials (CSE)

CS Essentials introduces students to coding fundamentals through an approachable, block-based programming language where they will have early success in creating usable apps. As students sharpen their computational thinking skills, they will transition to programming environments that reinforce coding fundamentals by displaying block programming and text based programming side-by-side. Finally, students will learn the power of text-based programming as they are introduced to the Python® programming language.

Cybersecurity (SEC)

Cybersecurity introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.

Computer Science Principles (CSP)

Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation.         

Computer Science A (CSA)

Computer Science A focuses on further developing computational-thinking skills through the medium of Android™ App development for mobile platforms. The course utilizes industry-standard tools such as Android Studio, Java™ programming language, XML, and device emulators. Students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases. This course aligns with the AP CS A course.

Where will STEM classes be held?
In the northwest corner of our new Science wing, a 1,300 square foot room has been built exclusively to hold the STEM Academy’s Engineering & Computer Science Pathways. The classroom will contain countertop work areas with running water, an 8 foot garage door for easy access for larger items, a separate computer/small group work area, two teaching walls and ample cabinets for materials to be stored. There also will be a separate storage closet for safe keeping of completed projects and projects in construction. Finally, the furniture will be movable so different learning configurations can be obtained.  Courses taught in the Biomedical Science Pathway are held in the Biology lab.
Who can take STEM Academy classes?
The engineering course is designed for freshman to take the first year class, Introduction to Engineering Design (IED). Any openings left will be open to our general student population to take as an elective. The second year is Principles of Engineering. This is intended for the sophomores coming out of IED. After re-enrollment in the STEM Academy, any openings left will be made available to our general student population to take as an elective.The Biomedical Sciences course begins with all Freshman in the course Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS). Any openings will then be open to our general student population. Biomedical Sciences is designed to be a three year course of study with anyone entering at the foundational level course, PBS.
Why do we need STEM at SLHS?
  • 21st Century Learning is in need of being implemented at Shoreland, and a part of that is the collaboration of multiple subject areas
  • College and Career pathways require those with high levels of critical thinking and problem solving
  • Labor statistics indicate that the least sought jobs in the workforce are in the math, science and technological fields (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012)
  • Currently, a low percentage of students indicate readiness in math and science careers
  • Boost the learning skills of the Common Core State Standards
  • Adds high level courses of rigor into the SLHS curriculum
  • Offers an alternative way to offer college credit besides AP Courses
  • Creates better problem solvers
  • Prepares our students for a changing world better than other programs
  • The only private school in Racine/Kenosha counties with STEM.
  • Meets the SLHS goal of being a premier faith-based school in SE Wisconsin
  • International program would show interest in the integrated approach.
  • Community partnerships abound with business looking for STEM Skills
Why should I consider the STEM Academy for my child?
STEM classes are designed to challenge students who have an interest in STEM related fields and who are highly motivated to learn. Students enrolled will be challenged academically with the goal of giving them the greatest opportunity for success in postsecondary STEM programs and STEM careers. In addition, students in STEM classes will be encouraged to enroll in the other rigorous general education course offerings SLHS has to offer, including advanced and AP courses.
Will additional seats be available to non STEM Academy students?
Seats will be made available to non-STEM Academy students after an initial deadline has past for current STEM Academy students and as space permits. Information will be passed along through the Guidance Office during next year’s course selection process concerning course availability.
Anna Becker

The confession tumbles out. “I’ve ruined a few carpets,” spurts Shoreland Lutheran High School senior Anna Becker as she explains that her absolute love of science and homemade experiments has caused the demise of more than one household item, a byproduct of her enthusiasm that her mother has learned to tolerate. Read her story