Department Chair: Stephanie Good, (505) 828-3355
The Academy science curriculum is designed to turn students into citizen scientists — Academy graduates are prepared to evaluate facts, ask critical questions, and make wise decisions.
Our science students develop their problem-solving abilities and observational and analytical skills in the laboratory. Their experiences in physical science, life science, and earth science provide opportunities to pose questions about the environment in which they live and think critically about solutions to real-world challenges.
Students are immersed in the process of scientific inquiry, whether they’re taking a required physical science course or the Advanced Organic and Biochemistry elective. Sixth graders build bottle rockets, conduct test flights, and then improve their design to maximize flight distance. There is hands-on learning in every course — sculpting a marshmallow DNA model in biology, modeling plate tectonics with cake and brownies, and identifying an unknown compound in the chemistry lab.
One of the highlights of the spring is Physics Day, when seniors taking AP Physics C visit the sixth grade to present dozens of demonstrations about pressure, rotation, electricity, inertia, and more. Explaining the concepts gives seniors a deeper understanding of their lessons, and the younger students are inspired by what they’ll learn later in their Academy science classes.
The Desert Oasis Teacher (DOT) Garden is a unique setting that allows students to explore sustainability; the Bio E class, for instance, has been involved in improving soil quality and testing its water-holding capacity, and science clubs help maintain the garden. The 2018 growing season yielded a 2,000-pound harvest, most of which was served in the dining halls.