Exploring Our STEM Programs

Exploring Badger High School’s STEM Programs
Posted on 02/12/2024
Exploring Badger High School’s STEM Programs

Badger High School is a district that strives to create environments where academic excellence meets innovation. The districts’ vision statement is, “Creating and Connecting Opportunities for Excellence”. At Badger, our commitment to providing top-notch education is reflected in our distinguished STEM programs. In this overview, we'll dive into the key features of our Engineering, Computer Science, and STEM Chemistry programs, highlighting the facts that define our approach.


Badger High School is a STEM education hub, anchored by our partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. This collaboration ensures that our Engineering and Computer Science programs are not just theoretical but incorporate practical skills crucial for real-world applications. Project Lead the Way is a strategic framework, guiding students toward success in dynamic fields such as engineering and technology.


Our Engineering program has garnered recognition on multiple fronts, notably being recognized as the Wisconsin Technology Education Association (WTEA) Program of the Year in 2022 and the prestigious ITEEA Program of Excellence Award in 2023. These accolades result from our commitment to delivering an outstanding curriculum that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities in technology and engineering fields.


As part of PLTW, our Computer Science program broadens horizons by providing students with immersive experiences in coding and contemporary technologies. With a focus on real-world applications, students in this program gain valuable insights and skills that prepare them for the rapidly evolving landscape of computer science. Similarly, the STEM Chemistry class at Badger High School serves as a platform for hands-on exploration in science. Through practical experiments, students delve into the fundamental principles of chemistry, igniting curiosity and promoting critical thinking. The science department at Badger has also partnered with UW Madison to integrate Phenomena Based Learning, which is rooted in the idea that students can learn about science starting with observation.


Aaron Burg, Badger’s Science Department head, emphasizes the dynamic nature of STEM Chem: “In STEM Chem, we collaboratively test designs and work through complex science that rarely has a single answer. Students experience learning and science as a process rather than as a destination. We think this is the best way that we can prepare ALL of our students, whether future scientists, citizens, partners, homeowners, business and community leaders, citizens -- humans -- to tackle the complexities that the future is certainly going to present. We anchor our learning in challenges such as designing hand sanitizer, quality controlled tie dye, a disaster response food container, a marketable soap, a cross-categorical bath bomb, and optimization of cannons. We have fun working through the chemistry connected to these challenges.”


Badger High School goes beyond traditional education by offering unique opportunities for dual enrollment with Gateway Technical College (GTC). This initiative allows students not only to earn high school credits but also to gain exposure to a college-level education. During the 2022 - 2023 school year Badger students and families saved $536,845.18 in tuition from GTC through our transcripted credit programming. Transcripted credit courses are taught in our building by our highly qualified instructors through an agreement with GTC. Our school provides 32 different transcripted credit courses; among those 32 courses are varying Engineering courses. The seamless transition between high school and college sets our students on a path toward success in engineering, computer science, and chemistry.


Our STEM programs emphasize practical application, ensuring students move beyond theoretical concepts to hands-on experiences. Utilizing tools like AutoDesk, engaging in 3D printing, and conducting chemistry experiments, students witness the transformation of abstract ideas into tangible prototypes. This practical approach equips them with the skills necessary for success in their chosen STEM fields.


Badger High School takes pride in its FabLab, a facility that fosters innovation. In proximity to our design studios, the FabLab is a crucial space where students bring their ideas to life. Whether working with metals, woods, or engaging in advanced computer science and chemistry experiments, this lab unleashes creativity and pushes the boundaries of what's achievable in STEM fields. Rachel Harmeling, Badger’s Library Media Specialist, highlights the value of the FabLab: “It is exciting to witness students entering the Badger FabLab with innovative concepts and using their STEM skills to bring those concepts to life. Whether it be the creation of a 3D-printed gaming keyboard or the crafting of a laser-cut wooden jewelry box, students acquire and develop invaluable skills that will contribute to their future success.”


Badger High School's STEM programs are grounded in facts and achievements. The districts’ mission statement; Engage, Educate, Empower is truly an embodiment of our comprehensive STEM and Engineering programs. From prestigious recognitions to hands-on labs and strategic partnerships, every element is meticulously crafted to provide students with a solid foundation and practical skills for success in the dynamic realms of engineering, technology, and science.

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