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School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt

About the SSMV

Through the SSMV, students pursue seven state-approved honors elective courses. The curriculum connects sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics through meaningful and engaging hands-on exploration with increasing depth and independence. During the academic year, students attend SSMV classes on the Vanderbilt campus one full day per week. The curriculum integrates cutting-edge "real world" content through student, SSMV faculty, and Vanderbilt faculty-designed research projects.

7 Honors Elective Credits

IS-I students extract caffeine from tea leaves during a chemistry lab as a part of a multidisciplinary study of addiction. In addition, guest scientists, physicians, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students visit the class to share their expertise.

IS I - Caffeine Extraction Lab

Research I is a 3-week summer course with a focus on field research that spans ecology, geology, archaeology, chemistry, and engineering.

Research I - Field Research

The majority of IS-II is focused on small group research projects designed to engage students in several scientific and engineering disciplines through generating novel data. Here, students are working to sequence a gene in endangered plant species.

IS II - GAPDH gene sequencing lab

Research II is a 3-week summer course that allows students to complete a group research project of their choosing and then communicate this research to other students through research poster presentations.

Research II - Group Research Projects

During IS-III, students participate in several teaching modules that explore scientific and engineering innovation at Vanderbilt and beyond and the various outputs of research such as publications, prototypes, and patents. The classroom 3-D printer is essential for seeing student ideas come to life.

IS 3 - I2P
Research III is a 6-week summer internship in a Vanderbilt laboratory where students work alongside a research team to complete a project for national science competitions where they can earn prestigious recognition and scholarships. Also, much of this work is highlighted in the Young Scientist research journal. Research 3 - Awards and Scholarships
The Advanced Research course is dedicated building skills to help students communicate their research not only to the scientific community but also to the broader public. A significant portion of the course concentrates on students participating in community-engaged research projects that benefit Nashville and beyond. Advanced Research - Community Projects

NCSSS Since 2010, the SSMV has been an institutional member of the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS). The NCSSS fosters and supports specialized science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) schools by providing a forum for its member schools to share and develop collaborations and program ideas.