The Academy curriculum is developed by area Master Teachers utilizing national and state science standards, area scientific expertise, and best practices in education. The Master Teachers also arrange tours, speakers and competitions, and assume primary teaching responsibilities for content delivery, hands-on experimentation, data collection, data analysis and final presentations. Three resident teachers typically assist with the curriculum presentation and daily student explorations and research.
In addition to the science activities, each day will include group sessions where students will be given the opportunity to apply what they have learned from the day’s events. This builds a better understanding of the day’s science activities and allows students to apply their knowledge in a hands on approach to science.
The week culminates with final presentations where each group presents their work and findings to an audience of federal and state ARC dignitaries, ORNL and ORAU dignitaries, parents, and friends.
For 2021, the Academy has transitioned to a virtual format due to the continued risk of COVID-19. The students are divided into four research groups: 3D Printing, Micro:Bit Coding, Computer Science and Modeling, and App Design. Each group is composed of 10 students. In a virtual setting, the groups research their particular topic, build models, collect and analyze data, learn to virtually collaborate, and present their results in a recorded presentation.