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STEM Program

Inspiring Students To Question What's Possible and Preparing Them For Long-Term Success

The Archbishop Hannan STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program helps prepare students for leadership in the 21st-century workplace. We are proud to partner with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a nationally recognized provider of transformative and innovative STEM programs. Our dedicated and experienced faculty ignites the student’s natural desire to engage, explore, and understand the world by utilizing a real-world-centered approach to learning. We strongly believe that by providing students with early hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and math they develop confidence in seeking solutions to new problems and discover how to become effective problem solvers in and out of the classroom.

Welcome to the Innovation Zone

We just call it a typical Archbishop Hannan STEM classroom. Why? Once students step through the door, they experience an approach to learning that fuels imaginative thinking, creative problem solving and innovative solutions. It’s a classroom filled with design software, advanced materials, and cutting-edge equipment. It’s a place that’s buzzing with project-based assignments, like programming robots and analyzing DNA samples. Where facts and figures are turned into ingenuity and inventiveness. Where the four walls of the classroom open up and lead to real-world challenges and opportunities – from energy, and the environment to housing and healthcare to transportation and technology.

STEM Courses at Archbishop Hannan

PLTW Engineering

Introduction to Engineering Design (9th Grade)

Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

Principles of Engineering (10th Grade)

Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for process design documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

Computer Science and Software Engineering (11th Grade)

Open doors in any career with computer science! In Computer Science and Software Engineering, students create apps for mobile devices, automate tasks in a variety of languages, and find patterns in data. Students collaborate to create and present solutions that can improve people’s lives, and weigh the ethical and societal issues of how computing and connectivity are changing the world. This course aligns with the AP Computer Science Principles course.

Engineering Design and Development - Capstone Course (12th Grade)

The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in Engineering Design and Development as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, completing Engineering Design and Development ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.

PLTW Bio-Medical Engineering

Principles of Biomedical Science (9th Grade)

In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their experiments to solve problems.

Human Body Systems (10th Grade)

Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex, and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.

Medical Interventions (11th Grade)

Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options, and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.

Biomedical Innovation - Capstone Course (12 Grade)

In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent design project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.


Robotics I

Students have the opportunity to put physics and engineering theories to practical use as they are introduced to more advanced aspects of robot design. The curriculum includes topics such as mechanical design, power distribution and control, electrical components, mechanical components, pneumatic design, and programming on a more advanced level. Students will attend tournaments to expand their understanding and knowledge in the field of robotics.

Video Production and Design

Video Production I

This course provides opportunities for students to develop skills in the history of television; basic video camera operation; postproduction skills in graphics, audio, and editing; scriptwriting and storyboarding; skills in direction and production of video projects. After successfully completing this course, the student will exhibit knowledge of the history of television; identify and describe camera components; operate a video camera; plan, script and storyboard a video project; complete postproduction of a video project, including graphics, audio dub, and editing; and understand career opportunities in the television industry.

Video Production II

The purpose of this course is to exhibit the ability to apply advanced skills in television in the planning, directing, and recording of television programs, dialogue for a television program, and demonstrate the ability to produce 5-minute television programs. The student will learn to write, produce, direct, and edit a variety of television programming; use of appropriate equipment, and adherence to production deadlines; find solutions for unexpected problems which arise in a production situation; specialize in one or more areas of television production.

Coding and Programming

Coding and Programming

This course uses the computer language Python to introduce object-oriented programming and design. Also, the course covers a brief overview of the development, design, and functionality computers. Ultimately, however, this course focuses on problem-solving using logical solution structure Topics such as data manipulation, decision statements, repetition, and array structure will be covered. Group work will be incorporated, providing students an opportunity to interact with classmates. Students must have successfully Algebra I or acquire teacher recommendation and consent of the instructor to qualify for this class.

Technology Student Internship

Technology internship offers highly motivated junior and senior students the opportunity to explore technology skills development through work in the technology office. Skills to be developed include hardware and software troubleshooting, including i-Pads, laptops, printers, i-Pad Applications, etc. Students will learn basic iPad troubleshooting, assist students and faculty with specific iPad apps, and assist the IT office in the daily operations that support the school faculty, staff, and students.

Web Design

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design curriculum is an introduction to the design, creation, and visual identity through the use of visual communication. This course will examine numerous techniques using words and images to communicate a message. Importance is placed on the visual problem-solving development through the use of multi-media applications, such as Gimp. Students will develop an understanding of the creative process by examining such techniques as the use of type, form, image, and color through visual representation.

Web Design

The Web Mastering curriculum is an introduction to the design, creation, and maintenance of web pages and websites. Students learn how to evaluate website design critically, learn how to design, code, and maintain quality web pages, learn the importance of web design standards, and learn to create and manipulate images. Students start by developing basic proficiency in creating static web pages with HTML.The course progresses from introductory work on web design to a culminating project in which students design and develop websites for local community organizations.

Upper Level Mathematics Courses

Advanced Mathematics/Trigonometry

The primary focus for students in this course is developing logical reasoning by making and justifying generalizations based on their experiences with fundamental as well as advanced algebraic concepts, in particular functional relationships and problem-solving in real situations. Building on the study Algebra, functional relationships are extended to include rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions as well as matrices and conic sections. These functions are examined in a variety of problem situations and form the basis for the study of equations and the development of algebraic skills. Additionally, students will study trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions. Students use a variety of representations (concrete, numerical, algorithmic, graphical) and tools as well as having regular access to technology that allows function plotting, coordinate graphing, algebraic analysis, and computation.

Calculus AP

AP Calculus AB is equivalent to a university calculus semester, for which credit can be attained through the end of the year Advanced Placement Examination. The course begins with a review of the essential functional concepts from Pre-Calculus before jumping into the development of the concept of limit. Students use the concept of limit to reify the concepts of derivative and integral and apply those concepts in a variety of contexts. In compliance with the AP prescribed curriculum, the course stresses a conceptual understanding of all the main concepts through the four modes of mathematical representation (algebraic, numeric, verbal, and graphical). An approved graphing calculator is required.

Statistics AP

This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement examination in Statistics, which is equivalent to two college semesters. This course follows the AP Statistics curriculum set by the College Board. Students develop strategies for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students design, administer, and tabulate results from surveys and experiments. Probability and simulations aid students in constructing models for chance phenomena. Sampling distributions provide the logical structure for confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. Additionally, using the vocabulary of statistics this course will teach students how to communicate statistical methods, results, and interpretations. Students will learn how to use graphing calculators and read computer output to enhance the development of statistical understanding. An approved graphing calculator is required.

College Algebra/College Trigonometry (Dual Enrollment)

College Algebra includes the study of equations and inequalities, functions and their graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic function, systems of equations and inequalities, and topics from analytic geometry. College Trigonometry is the study of trigonometric functions, which includes the graphing of trigonometric functions, the inverse trigonometric functions, function identities and the trigonometric triangle.

Upper Level Science Courses


At a pre-AP level, this course addresses the National Science standards for physics at a greater depth with a broader scope and a faster pace along with higher expectations for student performance. Students who plan to take an advanced placement science courses should register for this course.

Anatomy and Physiology

This course offers students further study in human life science processes and structures. Laboratory and computer assisted dissections and study of related animal body parts to facilitate understanding and knowledge necessary for careers in medical and health-related fields. Students will explore causes and effects of certain diseases, malfunctioning of organs and systems, as well as environmental factors. Critical skills emphasized include processing research information, computer skills for acquiring information, and use of scientific equipment for obtaining DNA data. This course will cover the structure and function of the human body. Topics will include the basic plan and organization of the body, biochemistry, homeostasis, cell structure and function, and more. The course will involve significant amounts of lab work in addition to traditional classroom instruction.

Biology AP

This course involves students in the activities and endeavors of science. They formulate hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, and interpret data. The course focuses on the process of scientific investigation. Students gain skills in investigation and apply those skills to in-depth studies of a few selected areas of biology. Considerable emphasis is placed on the role of science in society, the complex and extremely important interactions between science and the problems and decisions that citizens must make. This course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory Biology course. Upon successful completion of the AP Biology examination (3), students, as college freshmen, are permitted to undertake upper-level courses in Biology or to register for courses for which Biology is a prerequisite.

Chemistry AP

Students study the descriptive chemistry of elements in greater detail than in pre-AP Chemistry. Other topics include crystallography and chemical bonding. In addition to the laboratory activities supporting these topics, there is some experience with instrumental methods of chemical analysis. Understanding principles of reaction is enhanced through laboratory investigations in thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and equilibrium. The course concludes with a study of selected topics in organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry.

Environmental Science AP

This course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science. The goal of the course is to not only provide students with scientific principles and concepts but also to develop the methodologies and skills necessary to understand and evaluate the interrelationships of the natural world, the impact humans have on the natural world, and how the natural world impacts our lives. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing a wide variety of subjects including science, economics, ethics, political science, and sociology. Although the main focus of this course is on the scientific aspect, it is important to understand that the scientific principles and concepts discussed have impacts in many other areas of our lives.