STEM Education at GOA

"The math and science education I received in high school prepared me to succeed as a pre-med student at Rutgers."
—Emily G., Class of 2011
With the growing focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a national priority, Golda Och Academy is dedicated to providing its students with the tools and foundation of a solid STEM education to succeed in these disciplines. 

With our hands-on approach to learning, exceptional faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, students in all grades are exposed to STEM from exploration and discovery in our science labs and outdoor gardens to creating and designing projects in our new Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Center. 

Lower School

Every student has the opportunity to participate in Golda Och Academy's STEM clubs and enrichment programs, which meet during recess, lunch or after school. In the Lower School, 4th and 5th graders can join the STEM club, which meets once a week during recess to work on engineering progects derived from the Science Olympiad for 5th and 6th graders. Club members primarily work in small groups to build, design and test projects. Third through 5th graders can also join the Math club and Math Olympiad. In addition, younger grades can participate in such clubs as Lego Robotics.

Upper School

Our offerings at the Upper School include a Math club, Robotics team, Science Enrichment club and Excellence 2000 (E2K) program. All Upper School students can participate in the Science Enrichment club, which meets on a weekly basis and competes in the New Jersey Science Olympiad, Toshiba ExploraVision and other competitions during the year. Additionally, the Middle School Math club works on various logic puzzles, brain teasers and Math Olympiad questions. The club also takes field trips, publishes a math magazine and participates in Math League competitions. After school, 7th and 8th grade students can also sign up for the E2K program ─an extra-curricular, educational science and math enrichment program that uses stimulating research projects, mind-bending math problems and puzzles that challenge students to reason, explore, calculate and discover.  

The Robotics team, the CodeRunners, is an intense club focused on developing skills in robot hardware design and programming as well as 3D printing. The group enters approximately five to eight meets and competitions throughout the year, including the First Tech Challenge. The CodeRunners has qualified for the state tournament at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and also competes in the RoboCupJunior USA Competition building, designing and programming a robot that plays autonomous soccer. 

A new Girls Who Code club is also offered at the Upper School. The group is learning JavaScript and is affiliated with the national Girls Who Code organization, which aims to inspire and educate young women with computing skills to pursue jobs in the field of computer science.

Various STEM electives are also available to Upper School students. Courses offered are: Computer Programming, Computer Aided Design and 3D Printing, Engineering Design Challenge, and Robotics.

Students with a strong interest in and aptitude for science, technology, engineering and mathematics can apply for the four-year Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM program. Students apply and are accepted into the program going into their 9th grade year. Click here for more information about the High School STEM Program.

Facilities

The Upper School opened a new three level, state-of-the-art Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Center in Fall 2015. Two levels of the building are dedicated to STEM and offer space for a full competition field for the Robotics team, dedicated areas for project construction, additional 3D printers and a fully-stocked workshop with tools and instruments for students, including a laser cutter and CNC router. The center’s third floor serves as a multipurpose space for students to collaborate with one another as well as attend lectures and demonstrations. Middle School and High School students can also utilize the Macintosh lab, allowing students to complete a wider range of projects in their computer science, digital media and art courses. 

To promote optimum learning, the Lower School has two new 3D printers in the science lab as well as a fully-equipped computer lab and computers in every classroom. Forty iPads are shared among teachers and classes when appropriate for classroom use. With a focus on experiential learning, our outdoor garden and science lab bring science to life for Lower School students who are able to truly witness the fruits of their labor as they learn about and observe the vegetation they help plant.