The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt: An Innovative Research-Based Program for High School Students
The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) is an innovative partnership program between a Research I private university and a large urban public school system. The SSMV was started in 2007 and currently has 101 students enrolled in the program, with a total of 60 students who have completed the 4-yr sequential program. Students attend the SSMV for one full day per week during the school year and 3–6 wk in the summers following their ninth- to 11th-grade years, with each grade of 26 students coming to the Vanderbilt campus on a separate day. The research-based curriculum focuses on guiding students through the process of learning to develop questions and hypotheses, designing projects and performing analyses, and communicating results of these projects. The SSMV program has elevated the learning outcomes of students as evidenced by increased achievement scores relative to a comparison group of students; has provided a rigorous research-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics elective curriculum that culminates in a Summer research internship; has produced 27 Intel and Siemens semifinalists and regional finalists over the past 4 yr; and has supported the development of writing and communication skills resulting in regional and national oral presentations and publications in scientific journals.