STEM Marin is a program for students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. All of the STEM Marin courses are Project Based so students will learn the content by creating projects and owning their own learning. Below is a progressive course list outlining the courses each student will complete throughout this 4-year program.

Engineering Program

9TH GRADE – PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING

During their first year, students will complete the following courses:

  • Rube Goldberg Machine: Studying forces and mechanical advantage

  • Physics of Sports: Video studying motion and impact

  • Fire Away: Studying spring potential energy and projectile motion using trebuchets

  • Hybrid Car: Studying transfers of energy

  • Creative Engineering Design: Studying the engineering design cycle

  • Intergalactic Planetary: Studying orbital motion and Earth systems

  • Build a Band: Studying waves

  • Power San Marin: Studying electricity generation and distribution

  • Robot Art Show: Studying electricity, electronics, and programming

  • Do It Better: Studying perseverance and re-engineering

10TH GRADE – ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

Students taking the Environmental Engineering course will focus on four essential human needs: Land, Water, Air and Energy. Students will study nutrient cycling, food and agriculture and the water cycle. Climate change, energy use and urban design will also be topics of study. Students will understand how all life is connected on our planet and hopefully leave the course as even better stewards of the environment and advocates for positive change in their communities.

  • Secretary of the Future: Studying ecology

  • Build a Protein: Studying DNA, macromolecules, and protein synthesis

  • Replace an Organ: Studying Anatomy and Physiology

  • Murder Mystery:Studying genetics

  • Super Species:Studying evolution

  • Biotechnology Product:Studying biotechnology

11TH GRADE – CHEMISTRY

As Juniors, all students will focus on the following courses:

  • Classification of the Universe:Studying Atomic structure and periodic table

  • Wat-er We Drinking?:Studying Atomic structure and theory

  • Chemical Dominoes:Studying chemical reactions

  • Movie Special Effects:Studying chemical and physical properties

  • Hand Warmer Design Challenge:Studying thermodynamics

  • Power Generation:Studying thermodynamics

  • Equilibrium can be sickening when not present!: Studying chemical equilibrium

  • Marble Statues and Busted Bolts:Studying reaction rates

12TH GRADE – ENGINEERING

In their final year, all students will complete the following courses:

  • The Tower

  • Walk It Off: Gait Analysis

  • Heal a Broken Heart: Replace a Heart Valve

  • Have it your way: Fast Food Restaurant Layout/operational efficiency

  • Drink up: Water Fountain design

  • Stay Dry: Waterproofing with nanotechnology

  • Research problems in Engineering topics of Choice

  • Senior Capstone Project: Students plan, design, and implement their own project in a STEM area of interest

Biotech Program

The STEM Marin Biotech program is a college and career prep pathway focused on biotechnology. Students engage in a rigorous, hands on project based curriculum and will take the equivalent of 8 years of STEM classes. Students will have work based learning opportunities like guest speakers, field trips, job shadowing and internships. All courses meet the UC Life Science lab requirement and incorporates elements of career technical education (CTE).

9TH GRADE – TECHNOLOGY OF BIOLOGY/STEM BIOLOGY

This course covers Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, the Human Body, and Cells and Molecules. Projects and labs include:

  • Secretary of the Future: Studying ecology

  • Build a Protein: Studying DNA, macromolecules, and protein synthesis

  • Replace an Organ: Studying Anatomy and Physiology

  • Murder Mystery: Studying genetics

  • Super Species: Studying evolution

  • Biotechnology Product: Studying biotechnology

10TH GRADE – APPLIED CHEMISTRY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY/PHYSICS

Projects in Chemistry include:

  • Design a strategy to clean contaminants from water:  Understanding water and water chemistry

  • Detecting GMO’s:  Understanding GMO Pro/Con, what and how GMO products are used in our society,  with PCR and chemistry

  • Making Biofuel: Using Chemistry/Biotech to use waste Bio Products to produce energy

  • Everyday Chemicals and Human Health: Understanding chemicals that are around and how they affect our Health

  • Energy Flows and Energy Systems:  Explore how we use Energy and How we can use less and be more efficient

Projects in Physics include:

  • Truck Pull: Understanding Energy, Power, Force, and Mass Units

  • Spinning Stuff: Exploring the physics of things that spin

  • Marble Roll: Understanding the physics of two dimensional movement

  • Sports Video: Exploring the physics of sports

  • Bouncy Pool: Exploring the results of Newton and his laws

  • Student Planets: Astrophysics with students, distance, movement

11TH GRADE – BIOTECH 1

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Basic concepts and techniques used in Biotechnology

  • basic laboratory skills including materials handling and safety

  • how to manage time in the laboratory environment

  • using and maintaining equipment

  • proper use of significant figures

  • scientific notation

  • calculating concentrations to make solutions

  • statistical analysis of data

  • pH and buffers

  • appropriate use of lab ware for measurement

  • careers in Biotechnology

  • Bioethics

  • applications of the scientific method such as designing experiments, following and writing protocols, troubleshooting, analyzing and interpreting data, presenting data in written and oral form using graphs and figures and using data bases and resources and product research and development.

Labs will include electrophoresis, DNA isolation, restriction digestion and plasmid mapping, bacterial transformation, protein purification, and culture of microorganisms

12TH GRADE – BIOTECH 2

The course will prepare students to work in Biotechnology laboratory and to continue in further studies in Biotechnology. The course will cover the same basic information covered in Biotech 1 with more advanced labs, techniques and agricultural biotechnology.

Labs will include:

  • plant biotechnology

  • DNA isolation

  • restriction digestion and plasmid mapping

  • bacterial transformation

  • protein purification

  • PCR

  • western blotting and ELISA

  • DNA sequencing.

Students will create a resume and cover letter and practice interview skills, do an internship or a research project in collaboration with a scientist in industry or academia, complete an electronic portfolio and present a primary research paper.

Comprehensive Science

Our Comprehensive Science Program offers San Marin students a more traditional science path that is A-G compliant and meets all standards for graduation. 

9TH GRADE – BIOLOGY

Biology is a lab oriented, concept building course that provides important basic information for students. Biology covers cells, all processes, body systems, anatomy and physiology, genetics, evolution and ecology.

10TH12TH GRADE – CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS

This course provides a conceptually-based study of the fundamental principles and processes of the physical world. Topics include basic concepts of motion, forces, energy, heat, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of matter and the universe. Students learn essential concepts of physics through demonstrations, laboratory work, and discussion. Careful gathering and analysis of quantitative data is stressed.

11TH – 12TH GRADE – CHEMISTRY

Chemistry is the study of the properties and structure of matter. Topics include atomic theory, atomic structure, organization of the periodic table, writing chemical formulas and naming compounds, chemical reactions, states of matter, thermodynamics, kinetics, electrochemistry, acid/base chemistry, and nuclear and organic chemistry. Course includes lecture and lab components.

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