STEM, Robotics, and Drone/Aviation
ANCS provides a uniquely integrated STEM program in which math and science are not taught in isolation. In our STEM curriculum, your child undertakes inquiry- and project-based learning. Students work through exciting hands-on challenges in class. They are tasked with generating creative solutions to problems and using innovative thinking to overcome obstacles. Mathematics, the sciences, technology applications, and engineering design come together in a unique, challenging way that shows students how STEM applies in real life.
Mr. Stephen Michalik, the STEM Coordinator, oversees the math and science curriculum at ANCS, and also leads our Robotics Teams. Our Competitive Robotics Teams participate yearly in local and international Vex Robotics competitions. Our competitive teams, available to students only through selective tryouts, have won numerous awards for teamwork and designs and have reached the VEX IQ World Championship in both 2021 and 2022.
Since 2019, we have partnered with Texas A&M's DSTR Robot project to develop STEM curriculum, in the first ever private school collaboration of this kind with Texas A&M. Check out this press feature on our unique STEM program.
In Fall 2020, we began a collaboration with our neurodiverse friends at Journey School for the Uniquely Gifted and Talented, to create inclusive, competitive robotics teams between Journey students and ANCS students. This partnership program is unique in our area, and exceedingly rare in the entire United States. This program was funded with a large grant (awarded in both 2020 and 2021) from the AMP! Innovators Award, bestowed by Rice University's Office of STEM Engagement and ConocoPhillips. See the press feature about this collaboration.
More recently, in Spring 2022, Mrs. Charity Welty, an ANCS Middle/High School Math, Science, and Robotics Teacher, was also awarded an AMP! Innovators Award for her proposal for bringing Drone and Aviation Education to our campus. This program, which was likewise funded by Rice/ConocoPhillips, opened up in August 2022 and now offers Drone and Aviation to students starting in 6th grade.
High Schoolers who successfully complete the two-year high school Drone Education Program will earn certification as commercial drone pilots, including training in entrepreneurship.