Akins High School has seven different academies, each focused on different career interests. Every Akins student chooses their academy before their 9th grade year based on their interest. All of the engineering classes are housed in the STEM Academy. The STEM Academy is open and free to all students, regardless of past experience or test scores.
The Akins STEM Academy offers five different engineering pathways. In addition to a student's regular core classes, each year STEM students take one STEM elective class in an elective pathway. Students choose their own pathway based on their interest. When a student completes all four STEM electives in their pathway, they get a graduation distinction called an endorsement and a special cord to wear at graduation.
The STEM Academy's five engineering pathways are:
- Biomedical Engineering: Students learn to solve medical mysteries by investigating the prevention and treatment of diseases. In their senior year, students create their own research project and have the ability to earn college credit from the University of Texas.
- Aerospace Engineering: Students explore the physics of flight. They bring the concepts to life building rockets from 7 inches to 7 feet tall. Students in the advanced aerospace classes have the ability to compete in a large scale rocket competition.
- Civil Engineering & Architecture: This program features important aspects of building design and development. Students use 3D software to design structures such as houses and bridges. In their senior year, students have the ability to participate in an internship with Austin-based architecture firm BLGY as they redesign and construct nearby Blaizer Elementary.
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing: In this program, students learn how to build and code the robotics that go into conveyor belts and assembly systems.
- Robotics: The sequence of courses will teach students the fundamentals of engineering as well as giving students in depth experience using Vex Robotics . The pathway culminates in students creating autonomous robots that compete against robots from other schools.
Find more detailed information about each pathway and courses by using the links to the right. Follow the STEM Academy on Twitter and Instagram to see recent photos and activities!
The Akins STEM Academy has earned a Texas-STEM designation from the Texas Education Agency. The engineering program incorporates the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum in addition to several dynamic after school student clubs. For more information on the Project Lead the Way curriculum go to their website at www.pltw.org.