- Small Classes: Receive personalized attention in a collaborative environment where class sizes rarely exceed 18 students.
- Challenging Curriculum: Challenge yourself with demanding courses that exceed high school AP courses and extended school days adding up to 1,100 hours of expert instruction.
- Active Engagement: Become an active participant in learning through hands-on experimentation, open-ended problem solving, discussions, and group projects.
- Unique Opportunities: Explore a range of career-building—and fun—opportunities, such as participating on the FIRST Robotics team; competing at State and International Science Fairs, Computer Science and Math Competitions, and Slam Poetry; performing with WPI musical ensembles as well as engaging in local internships and community service projects.
- Hard Work That Pays Off: Prepare for your future by taking college courses and studying real-world applications.
Junior & Senior Year Programs
As a junior, you will follow a rigorous and well-rounded course of study, guided by expert faculty and grounded in active engagement and exploration.
Computer Science: This course begins with web design techniques and implementation. Students are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining their own personal and professional electronic portfolio in the form of a website. The fundamental concepts of object-oriented programming and methodologies are explored. Students develop computational thinking and problem-solving skills through programming practices and learn how to write and analyze software programs. Mobile application technologies are encountered. Students apply the software engineering lifecycle model to help develop applications that benefit the community.
Foreign Language (Immersion French or Spanish): These collaborative immersion courses focus on acquiring language proficiency through the use of authentic materials, including literature, music, film, discussions, and games. Students understand grammar in meaningful contexts and engage in project-based learning as they produce podcasts, make movies, and engage in small group projects. Students are assessed on their individual progress via video, audio, and written portfolios.
Humanities: This course uses a variety of literary, historical, and cultural readings in combination with essay writing, group projects, and class discussions to answer the essential question: “What does it mean to be human?” Students will examine how the definitions and understandings of “humanity” have changed over time.
Mathematical Modeling: This course goes beyond the traditional high school mathematics curriculum by engaging students in open-ended problem solving, computer simulations, and collaborative work. Students use a mathematical approach to model real-world situations through the application of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.
Physics: This course takes an algebra and calculus-based approach to investigate and model connections between concepts, equations, and graphs. Through classroom discussions and collaborative work, students learn about mechanics, gravitation, electricity, magnetism, waves, and harmonic oscillations. They design, build, and debug their own experiments and lab apparatuses. They analyze their data using statistical methods and report their findings via journal-formatted printouts, poster boards, and slideshow presentations.
STEM with Scientific and Technical Writing: This course focuses on scientific research and engineering. During the first part of the year, students conduct independent research projects that incorporate reviewing literature, making conjectures, developing methodology, designing experiments, and communicating findings. Their final projects are presented at a school-wide science fair, with the possibility for advancement to regional, state, and international fairs. During the second part of the year, students work in small teams in order to engineer new products – usually assistive technology devices. They meet with clients, conduct patent searches, design and build prototypes, demonstrate their products to expert judges, and deliver the products to their clients. Throughout the course, students practice incorporating purpose, clarity, organization, mechanics, and audience appeal as they communicate about topics in science and technology. Assignments consist of research papers, short essays, technical reports, and presentations. Students participate actively, as both writers and self-editors, and their works are consistently revised and often submitted for publication in online and print journals.
Physical Education: In fulfillment of state-mandated requirements, students participate in Physical Education classes.
Extracurricular Activities: Juniors are expected to take part in extracurricular activities at either Mass Academy or their sending schools during at least two of the four academic terms. Mass Academy extracurricular offerings usually include photography, disc golf, filmmaking, CyberPatriot, math team, programming team, Computer-Aided Design, Arduinos, and FIRST Robotics. In addition, students may participate in WPI’s music program and/or play on their sending school’s athletic teams with approval from the sending district.
Information on the Advanced Placement Philosophy can be found here.
Seniors enroll as full-time students at WPI and take their classes on the WPI campus, located at 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass. Their school year begins the fourth week of August and concludes with graduation from Mass Academy in early May. They follow a college schedule, meeting regularly with Mass Academy’s college counselor and their individual faculty advisors, who monitor their academic progress and assist with their college application process. Mass Academy seniors must successfully complete three WPI courses in each of four seven-week terms, for a total of 12 courses. In every term, students are required to take one course in each of three major academic areas. They also must fulfill requirements for Physical Education and complete a Senior Independent Study Project (SISP).
Mathematics: Students typically take the four-term Calculus sequence. Other advanced mathematics courses may be available for some students with faculty approval.
Science: Seniors have the opportunity to choose among single and/or sequential courses in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, and Engineering.
Humanities: Students are required to take four Humanities courses. Two must be in English (i.e., Literature) or Writing. The others may be in the Social Sciences, History, Philosophy, Foreign Languages, or the Arts.
Physical Education: Seniors must enroll in either two one-term Physical Education courses at WPI, two independent classes in an area of physical activity (e.g., dance, gymnastics, karate), or participate in an organized sports program for two of the four terms.
Senior Independent Study Project (SISP): Each senior must complete an Independent Study Project that involves approximately 100 hours pursuing a subject or area of interest that results in new learning beyond the traditional academic experience. Past SISP projects have included quilt-making, cooking, woodcarving, EMT training, learning a new language, learning to play a musical instrument, and publishing a book.
Extracurricular Activities & Events
As a Mass Academy student, you are eligible to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and events which may include:
- Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
- Café Nights
- FIRST Robotics
- Math Team
- Programming Team
- Semi-formal and Prom
- Slam Poetry
- Student Government
- WPI Concert Band
Athletics: Students may be eligible to participate on high school sports teams by applying for MIAA Rule 52 waivers with their sending schools.