North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

A growing number of Burke County Public Schools students are finding that staying enrolled in their current school while also taking challenging IVC classes at The STEAM Academy that are taught and managed by NCSSM is a great option — and one that catches the eyes of college admissions officers. NCSSM could be the perfect way to design your future.
  • 28005X0        Honors Computational Thinking & Coding:
  • 28005X0        Honors Computer Science
  • 28002X0        Honors Applications of Mathematics
  • 60195X0         Honors Public Health Topics
  •                        Honors African American Studies
  • 30205X0         Honors Forensic Science
  • 30205X0         Honors Forensic Science: Anthropology
  • 33605X0         Honors Genetics and Biotechnology
  • 34305X0         Honors Physics
  • 30205X0EST  Honors Aerospace and Engineering
  • 2A017X0        AP Calculus BC

60195X0 Honors Public Health Topics (spring)

This course provides an introduction to a range of topics and issues in public health with an emphasis on global public health. Some possible topics of discussion include the health and welfare of women and children in low-income countries, the impact of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases across the globe, food insecurity and malnutrition, demographic transition and immigration, global fertility and mortality, the stigma of mental health, and occupational health. This course will also address a number of impactful case studies and controversies in health and biomedical ethics. As public health relies on a number of systems in order to serve diverse populations across the globe, this course will take a systems thinking and modeling approach, using authentic performance assessments with students working in teams to apply concepts learned throughout the term. This interdisciplinary course requires complex reasoning and critical thinking skills, extensive use of technology, communication and problem-solving skills. Strong writing skills are imperative.

Prerequisites or Suggested Skills Completion of Language Arts/ English with a grade of "A".

Grade Level:​ 10-12

28002X0 Honors Applications of Mathematics (spring)

Course Description: ​Applied Finite Mathematics offers an overview of a number of applications of mathematics, including the social, management and biological sciences. The major topics covered in this course are those often included in a high school Discrete Mathematics or Finite Mathematics course. Applications and modeling are central to the course, and topics include fair division, voting methods, apportionment, graph theory, networks and recursive systems. This course also extends your knowledge of matrices and their use in applications, as well as probability and univariate data analysis. Students will frequently engage in collaborative group work and build their skills in communicating their thinking through mathematics and in writing.

Prerequisite: ​Completion of Algebra II Honors or equivalent with a grade of B+ or higher.

Prerequisites or Suggested Skills Completion of Algebra II Honors or equivalent with a grade of B+ or higher.

Grade Level:​ 11-12

This math class DOES NOT count as a 4th Math class towards Graduation. The class counts as a math elective.

28005X0 Honors Computer Science (fall and spring)

In this program, students will be exposed to broad topics of computer science such as Digital Information, Cybersecurity, Big Data as well as a strong laboratory component to help students apply computer science skills to solve real-world problems. They will be engaged in projects that investigate each stage of problem solving. This is a strong conceptual and demonstration based curriculum that will teach not only algorithms and programming, but more importantly, critical-thinking and abstraction. Skills that are in high demand across all industries.

Prerequisites or Suggested Skills Math II

Grade Level: ​11-12

28005X0 Honors Computational Thinking and Coding: Solving Global Challenges with Computer Programming (fall)

In this applied computer science course students will use sensors and portable computers (Raspberry Pi boards and Arduinos) to design wearable technologies and use computer code, including Python, to control them and manipulate the data they generate. There will be an emphasis on solving societal problems with current technologies throughout the course, and we will meet several pioneers in person to interview them alongside our own work. A portion of the class will be dedicated to health and wellness applications using wearable technologies and another portion of the class will be dedicated to animal perception experiences that increase awareness of conservation issues and empathy for global management of environmental resources. Students will gain experience in creating circuits, building wearable devices, and applying design processes to their creations that use computational thinking strategies along with coding to make the devices functional. Students that enjoy project based learning and want to use technology to make the world a better place will find their niche here!

Prerequisites or Suggested Skills: None

Grade Level:​ 10-12

30205X0  Honors Forensic Science (4.5 points for FR/SO, 5 points for JR/SR

[Prerequisite: Grade of B or higher in Honors Biology and Math III/strong writing skills]

This course focuses on the application of basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of forensic science as it relates to judicial and civil issues. The class is designed around authentic performance assessments with students working in teams to solve crimes using scientific knowledge and reasoning. Through lab work, students will apply inference and deductive reasoning to the investigation and potential solving of crimes. It involves all areas of science including biology, anatomy, chemistry, physics, and earth science with an emphasis in complex reasoning and critical thinking. In addition, students must incorporate the use of technology, communication skills, language arts, art, family and consumer science, mathematics and social studies. This course requires the ability to write clear and concise lab and investigative reports. Good writing skills are imperative. This course also deals with graphic content. Parents are asked to sign a permission slip at the beginning of the course, but students are expected to be mature when dealing with this content.



30205X0  Honors Forensic Science: Anthropology 

 (4.5 points for FR/SO, 5 points for JR/SR

[Prerequisite: Honors Forensic Science]

This upper level science course provides a broad overview of forensic anthropology – an applied field of biological anthropology that seeks to recover, identify, and evaluate human skeletal remains within a medico-legal context. In this course, students will learn to identify the bones of the human skeleton, as well as basic recovery techniques and crime scene investigation. We will then apply this knowledge towards the techniques used by forensic anthropologists to determine sex, age at death, ancestry, and stature; and how to estimate time since death and identification of trauma to bone. Finally, students will explore the role forensic anthropologists play in mass disaster and human rights investigations, as well as the associated ethical responsibilities that come with working with human skeletal remains.  This course requires the ability to write clear and concise lab and investigative reports. Good writing skills are imperative.


33605X0 Honors Genetics and Biotechnology  (4.5 points for FR/SO, 5 points for JR/SR

Prerequisite: Grade of B or higher in Honors Biology and Math III/strong writing skills

What do crime scene investigations, agriculture, medicine, conservation biology and manufacturing have in common? They have all been revolutionized by biotechnology! Almost every day, we read about new developments in the rapidly changing fields of genetics and DNA-based biotechnology.  In this course, students will first explore classical genetics and then move onto examining the structure and function of DNA and proteins. With state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, students will analyze DNA fingerprints from a crime scene, genetically transform bacteria and investigate their own DNA! Finally, they will survey the applications of biotechnology in many diverse fields and discuss in depth how biotechnology is changing our daily lives and our future. With the decline of traditional manufacturing in North Carolina, biotechnology is positioned to become a vital part of North Carolina’s 21st century economy.


34305X0 Honors Physics 

 (4.5 points for FR/SO, 5 points for JR/SR

Prerequisite: Grade of B or higher in Math III

This course is a hands-on, inquiry based introductory course which combines both “conceptual” and “mathematical” approaches to learning physics. The course covers the laws of mechanics and their applications. Students will learn to solve real problems by investigating real systems.  Investigations will cover physics topics that are fun and engaging for the students. Students will design experiments, use accurate measuring equipment and construct and test conclusions based on accurate data.


30205X0EST            Honors Aerospace and Engineering 

 (4.5 points for FR/SO, 5 points for JR/SR

Prerequisite: Grade of B or higher in Math III

In this course, students design problems related to aerospace information systems, astronautics, rocketry, propulsion, the physics of space science, space life sciences, the biology of space science, principles of aeronautics, structures and materials, and systems engineering. Using 3-D design software, students work in teams utilizing hands-on activities, projects, and problems and are exposed to various situations encountered by aerospace engineers.


2A017X0            AP Calculus BC

[Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB]

This course provides a study of calculus incorporating topics covered in AB Calculus and continues the study of differentiation and integration. Through class discussions, problem solving, and writing assignments, students further discover the important concepts of calculus, develop an understanding of these concepts, and use them in solving realistic problems.  Topics covered include the derivative, local linearity of functions, applications of the derivative, limits, differential equations, slope fields, Euler’s method, definite and indefinite integrals, numerical approximations, techniques and applications of integrals, Taylor series, improper integrals, and parametric and polar equations. Students also focus on skills necessary for success on the AP BC Calculus examination. A small packet of problems will be required over the summer.