Conroe ISD Academy of Science and Technology
The Conroe Independent School District Academy of Science and Technology, in Conroe, Texas is a specialized magnet school in science and technology; also a member of NCSSSMST. It was founded at Oak Ridge High School with the first graduates in 1991. The AST relocated to The Woodlands College Park High School in stages from 2005 to 2007. The first headteacher was David Archer, succeeded in 1991 by Ron Laugen, and then in 2007 by Susan Caffery.
Math, science, and electives in these areas are taught mainly only to students from the Academy. All other courses are taken with the high school along with students who are not in the magnet program.
Candidates are accepted by the Academy of Science and Technology following application, testing, and essay reviewing. Some candidates are interviewed by two faculty members before being accepted. For each class, 65 students are initially accepted, and ten are wait-listed. The size of each class at a given time is between 65 and 77 students. There are approximately 270 students in the Academy, selected from College Park, the Woodlands High and Oak Ridge High.
|“||Our mission is to prepare students having a strong interest in mathematics, the sciences, and technology for success in college and life. We will provide a challenging and innovative program designed to develop student responsibility, motivation, and commitment to learning within an ethical learning community emphasizing trust and cooperation.||”|
Research and Problems
Each AST student is required to complete a Research and Problems project for local credit each year. In the first year, all are required to do science fair. Many students proceed to the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston after district competition at the Sci:// Tech Exposition. The Academy of Science and Technology has a strong record of having students in all grades proceed to the ExxonMobil Texas State Science and Engineering Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Other options upperclassmen have for fulfilling their Research And Problems requirement include BEST Robotics, FIRST Robotics, Destination Imagination, Engineering Design Competition, Biotechnology Competition, and Envirothon Competition.
14 "Exploration credits" must be earned by each student for local credit to graduate from the AST. These credits are earned through several means: Job shadowing in a technical, scientific, or medical field; documented and researched exploration trips to places such as Alaska, the Galapagos Islands, The Grand Canyon, Colorado, Peru, and Belize; scientific lectures; short day trips to scientific laboratories or companies; college visits; attending approved lectures on scientific topics; and approved student-proposed explorations that are relevant to scientific fields.
All students are also required to complete an internship in the technical, medical, or scientific community of at least 80 hours. It is usually done in the area of interest of the student. Students have completed internships at NASA, Memorial Hermann and St. Luke's hospitals, the National Zoo, and many local businesses. The internship is normally done during the summer between the junior and senior years. In order to fulfill the requirement, students must keep a detailed journal of their daily experiences.
As a means of being "inducted" into the Academy, all incoming students are expected to attend a three day camp. It is held about three weeks prior to the start of each school year and campers consist mainly of incoming freshmen, as well as newly accepted upperclassmen. AST upperclassmen volunteer to serve as counselors to the new students. Various outdoor activities take place in the three days, including a ropes course (high and low elements) and other team building exercises. The purpose of this two and a half day camp is for new students to meet upperclassmen, to interact with each other, and to promote the four virtues that are pivotal to AST: Teamwork, Responsibility, Integrity, and Perseverance (TRIP). Through writing a report on the experience, incoming freshmen may earn their first 2 "Exploration credits" towards graduation from AST.
AST students are active in such clubs as Mu Alpha Theta, Interact, Leo Club as well as Literary Club and many other clubs the host school has to offer. In addition, they participate in the host school's activities, including band, choir, drama, chess club, and athletics.
- Conroe Independent School District
- College Park High School
- Academy of Science & Technology
- Parents of AST
- SCI://Tech Exposition
- ExxonMobil Texas State Science and Engineering Fair
- Intel International Science and Engineering Fair