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People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it

The focus of Da Vinci Science is to provide a springboard for students to prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related fields.

In 2013, Da Vinci Science was certified as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) school. PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM curricula used in middle and high schools across the U.S. In a Huffington Post article, Dr. Vince Bertram, the president and CEO of PLTW, called Da Vinci Science "a global model for STEM education."

Da Vinci Science students take a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum that is integrated with hands-on, real-world learning and career pathway classes that focus on the knowledge and skill sets needed for 21st century jobs. Through hands-on, interdisciplinary projects, students are challenged to think like scientists, engineers, architects, designers, and programmers and to solve real-world problems though a process of inquiry, teamwork and design. Da Vinci Science offers three career pathways:  Engineering, Biomedical, and STEAM which integrates art and technology.

Examples of recent projects include building Medieval-style Trebuchets to solve quadratic equations, exploring projectile path and Newton's Three Laws of Motion by creating flash animation movies, and building roller coasters to calculate speed, velocity, acceleration, kinetic and potential energy.

Da Vinci Science has formed extensive partnerships with local companies, universities and nonprofits, including Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Chevron, Raytheon, SpaceX, Project Lead The Way, El Camino College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Antioch University Los Angeles, Giving Kids Wings, and many others. These STEM professionals provide mentoring, internships, project support, work experience opportunities, and software training, as well as help us identify the real-world knowledge and skill sets that students need to know that do not appear in the Common Core State Standards.

Da Vinci Science has implemented Project Lead The Way curricula where students take college classes for college credit such as Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering. Students have additional opportunities to be exposed to STEM education through seminar (elective) classes such as Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Rocketry, Flight School, Civil Engineering and Architecture, and more. Da Vinci Science students also have the opportunity to enroll in Early College/Dual Enrollment classes that count for both high school and college credit through Antioch University LA and El Camino College.

Students enrolled at Da Vinci Science have many opportunities to explore STEM education beyond the classroom, including through First Robotics Competition, and other design and build competitions, including the yearly Chevron Design Challenge and the Northrop Grumman Innovation Challenge. In 2015, the Da Vinci Science Robotics Team, the Vitruvian Bots, finished 14th out of 76 teams in their division at the FIRST Robotics World Championships. In 2014, Da Vinci Science captured 2nd place in the Chevron Design Challenge state finals coming within one point of the first place team. The freshmen trio of young women won the regional competition, beating out 16 teams from Southern California, many of whom were juniors and seniors.

Student progress is measured and assessed through traditional tests and quizzes, public presentations of learning, exhibitions, and digital portfolios.

Da Vinci Science is a recipient of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) 2011 Excellence in Engineering Education Collaboration Award.  In October 2010, Da Vinci Science was cited by the U.S. Department of State as a "best practice" example demonstrating how industry, government, academia and the K-12 community can effectively collaborate to engage students in STEM education. To learn more about our accomplishments, please visit our Results + Recognition web page

In The News

At Hawthorne-based SpaceX, high school students learn to reach for the stars
Daily Breeze | August 20, 2016

Cal Poly, the Da Vinci Schools and Northrop Grumman Create Seamless Pathway for Future Engineers
Cal Poly SLO Multicultural Engineering Program | January 2016

How Da Vinci Schools Built an Instructional Model Around 'Failure'
edSurge | December 8, 2015

Robotics team from Hawthorne's Da Vinci Science High advances to world championships

Daily Breeze | March 31, 2015

A Global Model for STEM Education
Huffington Post | October 8, 2014

South Korean Science Leaders Visit PLTW School
PLTW | September 17, 2014

Students learn to fail -- and recover -- at CA School
Education Week | June 5, 2014

Da Vinci Science charter team wins engineering contest
Daily Breeze | May 5, 2014

South Bay students design vehicles, win money during Northrop-sponsored Engineers Week
Daily Breeze | February 21, 2014


Last Updated: September 13, 2016


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