The Mathematics & Science Academy provides students a rigorous and unique program of study emphasizing the core areas of mathematics and science with an infusion of technology. Many of the courses offered are unavailable to other high school students.
This program was designed for academically motivated and dedicated students. With this in mind, scientists, professors, community members, and educators created a challenging experience mirroring comparable competitive mathematics and science academy programs in the nation.
During the course of a studentís tenure at Ocean Lakes High School, he/she will be able to experience a rich environment of accelerated instruction including:
- Extensive laboratory experiences using the latest technologies and current computer-based software and hardware,
- English curricula integrating a multitude of non-fiction materials and technical writing units,
- Emphasis on critical thinking skills in all academy courses,
- Intensive writing assignments designed to improve a studentís skills and hone his/her ability to communicate effectively,
- Participation in various academic competitions,
- Exposure to a variety of technology applications including computers, software, scanners, digital cameras and other peripheral devices; and
- Career counseling by guidance counselors and the academy advisor to facilitate a studentís preparation for scholarships and acceptance into colleges and universities.
As a capstone experience of each studentís program of study, the mentorship/research project truly sets students apart. The focus of the project is in a field of math, science, or technology and integrates the foundational topics studied in the preceding years. Students elect to complete a field-based research project or mentorship with a practicing scientist, mathematician, or a like professional. Successful completion of this portion of the program includes 140 hours of independent work, a multimedia presentation of the experience, a written summation, and an oral presentation.
Each academy student will:
- Complete a minimum of five units of high school math; entering freshmen are required to have completed Algebra I prior to 9th grade,
- Enroll in Honors or AP English courses each year of high school,
- Complete a minimum of four units of high school science, including magnet chemistry, magnet molecular biology, magnet physics and two senior science electives,
- Complete at least three years of one foreign language (Students are encouraged to complete four years to be competitive applicants to selective colleges and universities. It is recommended that entering freshmen complete one year of a foreign language prior to 9th grade.)
- Complete one year of magnet technology courses,
- Complete a senior research or mentorship project,
- Take a minimum of six classes each semester. (The mentorship/research project may replace one semester class during the senior year.),
- Meet Virginia Advanced Studies diploma requirements,
- Take a full credit of mathematics and a full credit of science each year.
Class of 2005
"I'm applying to nursing school with the goal of becoming a midwife. The foundation I received in math and science at the academy has be valuable in so many ways."
Graduate Student at MIT
"Presently, I'm a graduate student at MIT working on my doctorate in particle physics. I work at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland on the CMS experiment - one of the subatomic particle detectors for the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC). Studying at Ocean Lakes High is when I really became interested in physics. Taking the advanced math and physics courses prepared and enabled me to study both in college."