Students need effective communication, mathematical, scientific, and reasoning skills to achieve success in today’s global economy. The curriculum at the Academies of Math and Science guides students to develop these skills so that they may demonstrate lifelong success in whatever path of success they choose. We employ challenging, research-based, and field tested curricula that consistently meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the state of Arizona.
The Academies of Math and Science (AMS) infuse critical thinking and mathematical skills into every grade level. From kindergarten, our students begin developing skills in number sense, algebraic operations, measurement, data analysis, mathematical thinking, and geometry. Our program, Saxon Math, coupled with the math integration into our science program, teaches our students to apply math skills outside of the classroom and learn the relevancy of math in today’s world.
The science program at AMS is sophisticated and well-developed at all grade levels. Students are immersed in earth science, physical science, and life science studies with an emphasis on how to use the scientific method to understand, explain, replicate, question, and design their own inquiries into different fields of science both inside and outside of the classroom. Our robotics club, science Olympiad team, and long-standing winning participation in SARCEF bring real-world, relevant experiences teaching the importance of science to our students.
The AMS language arts curriculum encompasses all the necessary skills our students need to become effective learners and communicators and develop a life-long love of learning. Our program develops their skills in decoding, comprehension, writing, speaking, and listening. Students explore the genres of poetry, plays, autobiographies, realistic fiction, non-fiction, biographies, historical fiction, folktales, and much more. Our writing program encourages students to hone their writing skills in both fiction and nonfiction genres. Our students go on to become award winning writers in many local writing competitions in various genres.
At AMS, we recognize that our students need to be global learners. Students are immersed in a program that explores both historical and current global events, world history and US history and geography, and government and economics. Students learn about the influence of past cultures from around the globe and in the US, and how these influences have shaped our country into the nation it is today. Students explore their own roles in their communities and become aware of how people contribute to the well-being of themselves and others. Government studies focus on the identification, interpretation, and analysis of how the US is governed as well as the functioning and issues of the US economy.
Our arts program is an integral part of our curriculum. It is structured in levels that are centered around the 14 elements and principals of art and design. Art projects, at all grade levels, introduce or reinforce art concepts and vocabulary while offering the students skill practice in various media and art techniques. Hands-on skill practice encourages the mastery and retention of concepts. The art program reinforces other curriculum areas by providing a real world connection between math, language arts, science, social studies, and the arts. For example, younger students explore patterns and symmetry through a pattern bugs project. Older students create visual models and sculptures to represent different concepts in science or social studies.
The AMS music program provides students with a broad knowledge and appreciation of music. Students are given the opportunity to attend music classes twice per week. Students in grades three and up learn how to play either the guitar or piano. Semester recitals allow students to demonstrate their skills to the community at large. In addition to learning how to play music, students are taught the history of music from our own cultures and cultures around the globe. Students learn audiation, the ability to think in musical terms. This skill prepares them for the rewarding appreciation of what music conveys. By learning the language of music as one learns any other language, students develop a life-long relationship with music.
At AMS, we emphasize computer literacy and its applications in today’s technologically advanced world. We provide grade-appropriate instruction in a multitude of hardware and software applications ranging from Microsoft Word to programming. Students build their computer and technology vocabulary while learning to apply their computer knowledge towards the creation of digital products. Our computer instruction program also facilitates the application of the learner’s expanding knowledge pool by providing opportunities to actively and safely participate in internet research projects and activities. Such activities are beneficial to other areas of the curriculum as these activities enable students to navigate through a wide range of reference sources. AMS provides computer instruction as a tool for life-long learning, with the application of skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
AMS understands the importance of maintaining not only a healthy mind, but a healthy body as well. As such, Physical Education (PE) is a very important part of our students’ education. All grade levels participate in PE on a weekly basis. Students at all levels play a variety of games which require them to use both their large and small motor functions. They develop knowledge of how to build their cardio endurance and muscle strength. Students learn the traditional rules of sports and are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular sport activities. The ultimate goal of the AMS PE program is to foster teamwork in a safe and fun environment while students develop physical fitness and an appreciation for a variety of sports.
AMS provides students with opportunities to develop and expand their language skills by means of a comprehensive foreign language instruction program. Learning a second language is highly beneficial to a student’s progress because it enhances both language skills and logic abilities. All grade levels are given the opportunity to take Russian or Mandarin. Exploration of the food, music, videos, and literature of Russian and Mandarin speaking populations supplement the AMS Mandarin and Russian curricula.