Select Page
Home » Curriculum & Pedagogy » Technology and STEM

Technology and STEM

At MCA, technology is always employed as a means toward the end goal of education (a wise and virtuous citizen, never as an end in itself. At MCA, we value digital technologies primarily as a means of production of high-quality products and presentations with consumption of information playing a lesser role. As new technologies arise, each must be evaluated to determine whether or not the technology can and should be used as a means of moving toward the fulfillment of MCA’s vision, avoiding the impulse to adopt the latest just because it is the latest. Key questions to ask include: 1) How does a particular use of technology promote human flourishing? 2) Does a particular use of technology enslave or liberate the user? And 3) How does it affect the recipient? For more on what guides us with technology, please read this edition of The Academic Journal:  Understanding Technology at MCA.

1:1 Laptop Program

Intent on providing a leading edge technology platform that furthered our instruction, in 2006 MCA instituted a 1:1 Laptop Program for our Upper School students. The program was an instant success. Not only did it provide ready access to a variety of tools such as word processors and spreadsheet programs, but it also provided a link to nearly unlimited web-based resources.  Students have access to these laptops twenty-four hours a day for the entire school year.  A subscription-based, automatically-updating content filter and random checks help keep our students technologically safe. The program has continued and evolved with technology.

Currently, all Upper School students are issued Chromebooks, which use Google’s Apps for Education to provide a cloud-based environment for our students.

As Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great, “When used right, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.”  At MCA technology is neither the goal nor the focal point, but rather one important tool that helps to propel MCA toward its stated mission. As technology changes, so will the world and so will this Academy. Here, at MCA, those advancements will be used to further develop students as intelligent citizens who lead in a constitutional republic.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

STEM is a recent acronym, but these subjects have always been integral to a classical education. Through core courses, electives, and competitions, Millennium Charter Academy’s STEM program provides students with a wide array of academic challenges in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Science:

  • Inquiry-based science instruction in grades K-12
  • Science fair projects, grades 4-8
  • Elective science fair projects, grades 9-12
  • Participation in NC Science and Engineering Fair
  • Participation in NC Student Academy of Science and Engineering Competition
  • North Carolina Science Olympiad Competitions
  • Agriculture elective
  • Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science for grades 9-12
  • Additional science credit required for MCA high school graduation credit than for North Carolina criteria

Technology:

  • 1:1 laptop program for Upper School students, cloud-based
  • iPads and iPods for Challenge Center
  • Lower School Classroom Chromebook Carts 
  • Subscription programs (e.g. Razz Kids, Discovery Education)
  • K-12 technology curriculum
  • Full-time educational technologist
  • SMART boards in all  lower school classes
  • All teachers equipped with laptops, interactive panels, and/or projection devices
  • Elective courses in Graphic Design, Advanced Graphic design, and digital photography, computer skills and computer programming
  • Yearbook elective using digital tools
  • STEM elective cluster for high school juniors and seniors

Engineering:

  • First Lego League Robotics
  • North Carolina Science Olympiad Competitions

Mathematics:

  • Everyday Mathematics curriculum, featuring conceptual math and alternative algorithms
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Discrete Math
  • Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus