STEM at Neal

  • Visit the STEM at Neal Homepage for the most up-to-date information!


    What is STEM Education?

    • STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The goal of STEM education is to prepare students for post-secondary study and the 21st century workforce.


    Which students should develop STEM proficiency?

    • STEM education is for all students. STEM education develops critical thinking and problem solving skill which are essential for success in any field.


    Where does STEM fit in the school day?

    • Students at Neal will take at least one STEM elective each year, but students have the opportunity to take more than one. STEM electives are offered over the course of a semester to all grades (6th-8th).


    What makes Neal different from other middle schools?

    Neal is the only middle school in Durham (and one of the few in the state) to adopt and implement the Gateway to Engineering curriculum that introduces students to a wide variety of engineering disciplines through engaging and hands-on lessons that emphasize the Engineering Design Process.

    • Design & Modeling: Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk® design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.
    • Science of Technology : Science impacts the technology of yesterday, today, and the future. Students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nano-materials.
    • Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
    • Green Architecture: Today's students have grown up in an age of "green" choices. In this unit, students learn how to apply this concept to the fields of architecture and construction by exploring dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability as they design affordable-housing units using Autodesk's 3D architectural design software.
    • Automation & Robotics: Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.

    STEM at Neal