Bosque School’s signature science program actively engages students in authentic scientific investigation. Our students don’t just learn science, they do science.
Our approach leads to exemplary preparation for college-level science classes. Having already participated extensively in scientific research throughout their middle and high school years, our graduates stand out in university research environments. Beyond their coursework, many of our graduates begin interning or working in research labs before or during their first year of college.
Bosque School is well known for our field and community science program, initially developed in partnership with the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP) and reflecting a collaboration between Bosque School and the University of New Mexico's Department of Biology that dates back to 1996. In addition to BEMP, Bosque School partners with many state-wide land management agencies in support of authentic research and skill development for our students through scientific inquiry and hands-on learning. Within the physical sciences, students immerse into chemistry and physics concepts and phenomena and solve real-world problems through labs and hands-on project based investigations. All students have the opportunity to participate in robotics and coding classes and competitions and to take advanced science electives such as Astronomy, Chemistry 2 and Physics 2.
In addition to learning the science standards recommended in the Next Generation Science Standards, our 6th-grade students become working community-scientists as they gather and analyze data about the Rio Grande. Middle school students learn about natural processes and develop skills as problem solvers through our three-year integrated science curriculum that provides extensive opportunities for frequent field work. They measure leaf litter, investigate changes in the water table, and track small mammal populations. They learn how to ask scientific questions, gather and analyze data, and work in field and lab settings.
All high school students take a college-preparatory science curriculum that includes biology, chemistry, and at least one additional advanced course in physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy & physiology, and agricultural studies. Students also have the opportunity to take electives in computer programming and coding and Bosque School has produced national Congressional App Challenge winners twice in recent years! In addition, many high school students opt to take field-based wildlife research or research methods courses and have opportunities to assume peer leadership by teaching younger students about the bosque, fitting porcupines with radio-tracking collars, developing original research projects, collaborating on state-wide initiatives with working scientists, and presenting their research findings before state legislators and at regional professional scientific and academic conferences.
Three-week-long immersive courses (offered each May) provide additional opportunities for students to apply their scientific passions, skills, and knowledge through interdisciplinary course work. Some recent STEM-related immersives include: Aguas Es Vida (middle school), Journey into Science and Medicine (middle school), Forensics (upper school), Medical Reserves Corps (upper school), Sports Psychology and Medicine (upper school), and RoboStem (upper school).
For students interested in pursuing personal passions and potential professional goals in the medical field, Bosque School provides the opportunity to engage in our signature Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Junior Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit. Through our ERT/MRC program, our students dual enroll in a Central New Mexico Community College first responder course as part of our three-week immersive program. During the first responder course, students learn everything from taking vital signs to spinal immobilization, anatomy to medication administration, supraglottic airway placement, and how to deliver a baby in an emergency.
Seniors with passions for science can choose to deepen their commitment, knowledge, and expertise in the sciences, by grounding their yearlong senior capstone research in the science department. Some recent related capstone research topics include:
- A Mammal Inventory of a Wetland Oxbow and DNA Analysis of the Hispid Cotton Rat.
- DNA: The Ethics of DNA Evidence and the Criminal Justice System.
- Open Source Humanity: Linux as a Model of Software Collaboration.
In addition to core classes, there are extensive opportunities for science based extracurriculars from robotics to jackrabbit surveying to environmental advocacy at the Santa Fe Roundhouse.
What we are doing at Bosque School is science that matters beyond the classroom. So we are always looking for ways for our students to do authentic work—work that they have to be accountable for to somebody other than themselves.
Dan Shaw, Science Teacher