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Math and science academy to launch at Surrey high school

Fraser Heights Secondary is launching an Academy for Integrated Mathematics and Science this September.  -
Fraser Heights Secondary is launching an Academy for Integrated Mathematics and Science this September.
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Math and science students in Surrey will have the opportunity to soar to new heights beginning this fall.

Fraser Heights Secondary is launching an Academy for Integrated Mathematics and Science this September. The two-year program, developed by school staff, will give students up to 32 credits for senior level math and science courses, plus up to 17 credits for university level courses.

The program is believed to be the first of its kind in Western Canada.

“It’s a real advantage for our students, and another example of the amazing learning opportunities available in our public education system here in Surrey,” says Principal Sheila Morissette.

The academy was approved by the Surrey Board of Education in December, but has been in the works for some time, says Morissette. She credits math and calculus teacher James Ahn for putting the program together and garnering board support for the initiative.

“He’s done a terrific job taking our existing math and science programs up a notch – and they were already outstanding,” says Morissette.

Fraser Heights already has a history of achievement in the fields of math and science, with many students recognized provincially and nationally in various math and science competitions. The academy will provide an even more enriching experience for students who excel in those areas.

Enrolment in the Academy for Integrated Mathematics and Science requires a two-year commitment from students starting in Grade 11 and continuing until graduation from Grade 12. Half of each day will be designated for academy programming, and will include labs, group work, lectures and independent study.

The academy will combine traditional instruction with an open inquiry approach to learning that will culminate in students preparing a Capstone project in their senior year using technology in a laboratory setting to model the scientific process. (Like a university thesis, a Capstone project is a final learning project requiring significant effort and research to demonstrate a student’s understanding of all related coursework.)

The final details of the academy are still being ironed out, but Morissette is hopeful negotiations with universities and the Ministry of Education will result in the academy being able to provide a university level chemistry class as part of the program – a $1,500 value if students had to pay.

The academy is open to all Surrey. A parent information night will be held on Monday (Jan. 21) at 7 p.m. in the theatre at Fraser Heights Secondary, 16060 108 Ave.

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