Science Department Chair Analice Sowell recently spoke to Parents’ Association Board members about the school’s science program.
“MUS was doing STEM before STEM was cool,” Sowell said, describing the Science Department’s long tradition of preparing students to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math pathways in college and careers. “We don’t buy into a pre-packaged curriculum that does not meet the needs of our students. We design the curriculum for our boys,” she said. “The success of our alumni in college and STEM fields supports our curriculum.”
The strength of the science instructors, who have extensive teaching experience as well as specialization in their fields of study, allows the school to tailor its programs, Sowell said. MUS offers students every AP science course currently available from the College Board, in addition to three highly specialized advanced courses: Physics II: Robotics, Biology II: Molecular Biology, and Chemistry II: Materials Science. Our signature Pathways to Success program in science allowsstudents to choose Pre-Engineering or Pre-Med tracks or to create an individualized “I Just Love Science” pathway.
Sowell told the PA about recent building improvements, including the expansion of the AP Chemistry lab and creation of two dedicated robotics/makerspaces to serve both Upper and Lower School students. Upcoming programs include a new partnership with Rhodes College chemistry students and the materials science students’ annual trip to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Longer-term initiatives include a planned MUS in Europe trip focusing on forensic science and Sherlock Holmes. In addition, a Summer Science Research Institute under development for the 2019-2020 school year will pair interested students with local academic researchers and physicians on independent projects.
“We are a college-preparatory school,” Sowell said. “The MUS science experience meets our boys where they are, and takes them where they want to go.”