Carlos Lauchu, Principal - The Science Academy STEM Magnet, Region North Board District 6

Testing out the principles of flight!
Testing out the principles of flight!

The Science Academy STEM Magnet is a unique educational institution that thrives in the STEM disciplines. Innovative in its instructional approach, it recognizes the need for a paradigm shift, both on how students acquire knowledge, and also with the current but outdated educational philosophies of how to facilitate contemporary student learning and comprehension. We understand the need to move away from traditional teaching methodologies and pedagogy and move toward an educational philosophy that will provide the students with novel learning strategies that include and utilize present-day resources and most importantly, both current and emerging technologies.

“It is more to DO, APPLY, and CREATE science than it is just to learn it.”
Joshua Rosenthal - Assistant Principal

Toward this end, The Science Academy STEM Magnet has embraced an educational concept that invigorates our program every year by fostering a culture of experimentation. Essential to 21st-century learning philosophy, it is more responsive to student learning by promoting outside-the-classroom erudition and emphasizing the creation, development, and implementation of novel strategies and ideas. This classroom environment, The Science Academy Makerspace/Innovation Lab, is a place where students can come together to design, experiment, discover, invent, build, and create based on their unique and individual interests and ideas.

"The Innovation Lab is about giving students access to hands-on tools
and materials enabling them to explore their engineering and technology interests."

Learning how to build a computer
Learning how to build a computer

At the beginning of each year, each student can select a topic that he, she, or they are interested in pursuing or researching in the Lab for that year. After the teacher and the student strategize together, the student is then provided with the resources that they need to accomplish their objectives; The student may be supported in their efforts by one or more teachers, depending on the area of study or research. For example, if a student expresses interest in a biological concept, the Maker Space/Innovation Lab teacher Mr. Chris Bradfield would communicate with the AP Biology teacher to form a collaborative team to assist the student.


Learning how to build a computerExploring prosthetics

“Everything begins with an idea... the Innovation Lab makes ideas come alive!” Jodi Huff - Magnet Coordinator

STEM Lab Student Goals:

  • Use a wide range of idea-creation techniques – such as brainstorming
  • Create new and worthwhile ideas – both incremental and radical concepts
  • Elaborate, refine, analyze, and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts
  • Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others effectively
  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
  • Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real-world limits to adopting new ideas
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation are a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
  • Implement innovations Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur

STEM Lab Focus:

  • Higher emphasis on the application of Technology & Engineering such as Robotics
  • Students will be provided with the tools to create objects with real-world applications
  • Students are encouraged to take classroom techniques, ideas, and concepts to solve real-world problems through their STEM Education
  • Computer Science that includes programming and hardware development Engage with emerging technologies such as the future of hydrogen fuel cells and virtual reality
  • Engineering – essential concepts in design and fabrication
  • Biomedical research that might include topics such as cancer and the human genome project
  • Emerging technologies in Artificial Intelligence
  • Astronomical events and scientific breakthroughs

The following are several examples of “zones” in our school/Makerspace/Innovation Lab that we have had in the past:

  • Flight Simulation Zone
    • Builds on concepts in multiple Sciences (Earth Science, Physics, Biology, etc.) & mathematics
  • Robotics Zone
    • Builds on concepts that integrate computer science and engineering
  • Virtual Reality Zone
    • Builds on concepts in the computer sciences
  • Printing Zone
    • Builds on concepts in Science Robotics
  • Engineering & Technology Zone
    • Builds on concepts in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (includes HAM radios)
  • Research Zone
    • Builds on the concept of detailed analysis and cognitive discovery.
  • Biomedical Zone
    • Builds on concepts that allow for research-based projects in collaboration with biomedical labs and universities.

"We want students to learn that the engineering process is iterative; they shouldn't be afraid to fail,
to iterate and improve on their designs. Often, it's the things that don't work which teach us more than the things that do."
Christopher Bradfield - Teacher

The Science Academy STEM Magnet (SASM) is a seven-year articulated program focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The curriculum allows our students to explore non-conventional learning styles in a college-preparatory atmosphere. Our learning modules are rigorous, with the intensity of a college-bound program that emphasizes inquiry-based teaching and problem-solving that is applicable to real-world problems. It is the mission of our school to develop college and career-prepared citizens, who are able to enter the highly competitive adult world, making a difference in tomorrow’s society. With inquiring and analytical minds, they will demonstrate the critical thinking skills and results-based outcomes necessary to tackle any endeavor that they desire. SASM recognizes and values the importance of this educational mindset and strives to meet the needs of this community of scholars by nurturing students’ intrinsic motivation for learning and with a belief in the students’ desire to surpass conventional expectations.

Honored as a California Distinguished School by State Superintendent Tony Thurmon in April of 2023, the Science Academy STEM Magnet was also ranked in the top 1% of public schools in the State of California by the U.S. News and World Report (2021), and 1st in LAUSD. As the current winners of the Regional Science Bowl, 3rd place winners of the National Air Force Association Stellar Explorers Competition, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the Southern California Science Olympiad, and current VEX Robotics World Champions, our students are excelling at all of their competitive endeavors.

Want to learn more about Science Academy STEM Magnet, here are some more articles on their accomplishments.

Learning how to build a computer
Science Olympiad students celebrate another victory!





VEX Robotics World Champions
VEX Robotics World Champions