Students at all levels engage in weekly, hands-on science laboratories where they learn about the natural world.
Preschool to elementary-school students learn subjects as diverse as acid titration to the observations of honeybees. In this way, our Teaching Staff engages the younger students' sense of wonder.
Building on that sense of inquiry - on which most learning is based - middle school students' curriculum is a much more rigorous program. Lab sessions emphasize geology, biology and physics.
Middle school projects require rigorous use of scientific methodology. Students write detailed observations, which are then analyzed and put into computer-generated graphs. This raw material is then transformed to professional-quality presentations.
Students then display their projects - enriched by Power Point and digital editing software - at the annual school science fair, which is presided over by a panel of independent judges.
The top-awarded projects are then submitted to the Greater San Diego Science and Engineer Fair. Other competitions include the county's High Technology Fair, normally limited to high-school level students. The high standards of the campus wide academy fair ensure that over the past decade, a majority of those entering either contests, win and of those, 10 percent go on to state-wide finals.
Another new project connects students with the international Save-A-Tree Foundation. Elementary school students create colorful "naming rocks" for trees adopted throughout the 27-acre campus. Older students record their adopted tree's vital signs, using the academy's wireless laptops. The results go to Sweden as part of an international push to gather data on forests and groves.