Middle School

Welcome 7th & 8th Grade Students to Hughes STEM Middle School

Overview: The middle school program is designed to be the STEM foundation to prepare our students for high school AA course work. In our continous efforts to build a complete STEM curriculum we are incorpating the following three principals:

  • An integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum involving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • Classroom projects that address real-world issues through exploration, inquiry, and problem-solving experiences
  • And student work that regularly requires critical thinking, creativity, effective collaboration, research skills, and communication

Engineering & Technology together are the building blocks for all academic courses in our middle school program. It’s what makes STEM different from regular science, technology and math instruction. Good STEM curriculum puts a heavy focus on an engineering design process – an organized method of approaching and solving problems. Project Lead The Way Gateway To Technology (our middle school career tech classes) provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to make an informed decision about their future. Students can choose careers from 1 of 4 pathways offered at Hughes: Engineering, Biomedical, Information Technology and Plant and Animal Sciences at the Cincinnati Zoo. We expose students to a variety challenges and experiences that engage students and require them to take ownership of their learning. As part of the District's My Tomorrow Initiative, we will strive to prepare students for a different and ever changing world.

Students at Hughes STEM High School are Expected to Practice Our Core Values Everyday:

  • Courage: We value the willingness to take risks, handle the unfamiliar, lead in the right direction and be individuals.
  • Respect: We respect ourselves, others, the environment, and community  through our words, actions and attitude.
  • Empathy: We value the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others and to respond in a caring way.
  • Desire: We value bringing energy and commitment to explore, to learn, and to question for a deeper understanding.
  • Integrity: We value doing what is right, even when no one is looking.
  • Teamwork: We value the skills of collaboration and learning to work together to achieve common goals.

In order to achieve the necessary high school credits to graduate and be successful in your future career you must demonstrate C.R.E.D.I.T. daily at Hughes STEM High School

Staff & Courses for Middle School Students:

7th Grade Courses

Pre­Algebra 7 AA - Ms. Michael Brown

This 7th grade course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to be successful in Algebra 1.  A major emphasis throughout the year is the understanding & application of proportional reasoning. Students will begin to acquire an algebraic and graphical understanding of functions. They will write, solve and graph linear equations. There is an expectation to clearly communicate and explain methods of problem solving and the interpretation of result both verbally and visually. Students should be able to demonstrate this understanding through written assignments, test, quiz, homework, presentations and end of semester project exam(s). Students will be assessed using the state mandated AIR Test.

English 7 AA - Ms. Kimberly Shay

The seventh grade language arts curriculum is based upon the state academic standards. The common core standards for English Language Arts (6‐8) are:

  • Reading Standards for Literature (6‐12)
  • Reading Standards for Informational Text (6‐12)
  • Writing Standards (6‐12)
  • Speaking and Listening Standards (6‐12)
  • Language Standards (6‐12)

Each quarter begins with a culminating question, and involves key texts, related texts, culminating writing activities, assessment checkpoints, and formative, and summative (performance based) assessments. Students will be assessed using the state mandated AIR Test.

Science 7 AA - Mr. Randal Gibson

Build deep understanding of content and apply learning within disciplines through Project‐Based Learning. Craft responses based on evidence including: demonstrating understanding, and explaining, reasoning or justifying a position. Use appropriate technology in academic and real‐world settings to describe and illustrate science concepts using models, simulations or other multimedia applications. Engage in inquiry‐based processes to solve problems by creating solutions under real‐world constraints through technology and engineering design. Participate in a cooperative learning project in an online learning community.Evaluate digital resources to determine credibility of the author and publisher, as well as timeliness and accuracy of content.

Social Studies 7 AA: World Studies from 750 B.C. to 1600 A.D.: Ancient Greece to the First Global Age - Ms. Laura Wilder (Team Leader)

The seventh grade year is an integrated study of world history, beginning with ancient Greece and continuing through global exploration. All four social studies strands are used to illustrate how historic events are shaped by geographic, social, cultural, economic and political factors. Students develop their understanding of how ideas and events from the past have shaped the world today.  We will integrate literacy standards including identifying key details and evidence from informational text, using and describing primary and secondary sources, and using visual representations (graphs, maps, charts, etc.) to make decisions about historical content.

7th PLTW ‐ Provides the foundational elements for early exploration of our career pathways offered at Hughes starting their junior year. - Ms. Angie Cole

  • Design and Modeling

Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk® design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.

  • Automation and Robotics

Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students acquire knowledge and skills in problem solving, teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. Students design and build robots and also program them to perform desired tasks.

  • Introduction to Computer Science 1

Studies show that by 2018, 1.4 million job openings will be available for computer specialists. In this unit, students discover the principles of this fast‐growing field by focusing on creativity and a dynamic and fun design process as they create their own basic apps using MIT App Inventor.


8th Grade Courses:

8th PLTW ‐ Expands the ideas learned in the 7th grade PLTW course - Mr. Leroy Dobbs

Builds on the education journey the students will experience to provide guidance with selection of the student’s pathway of choice their junior year. Energy and the Environment (EE) Students investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources and participate in an energy expo to demonstrate energy concepts and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency and sustainability. We have also introduced Medical Detectives, a new PTLW module. Students play the role of real‐life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands‐on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.

Algebra I AA - Ms. Cierra Burns (Team Leader)

Algebra is the study of unknown quantities. This course will further develop the student’s understanding of the properties of real numbers. The concept of a function will be formalized in mathematical language. Properties of functions will be explored numerically, graphically, analytically, and verbally. Students will be expected to use technology to discover relationships, test conjectures, and solve problems. Students will communicate their understanding of linear, quadratic, exponential functions (both formally and informally) through expressions, equations, modeling and contextual application. Here at Hughes STEM students will take a hands on approach to learning. With a series of expeditionary learning activities (in conjunction with Springboard) students will solve for slope  by learning how to program software to create digital linear artwork. Students will gain understanding of exponential growth while studying international currency. These and many other projects will help forge a deeper understanding of learning objectives. Students who successfully complete Algebra I will be granted 1 high school credit that will figure into their high school GPA. Students must complete an end of course exam. Students will be assessed using the state mandated AIR Test.

Social Studies 8 AA - US History 1492‐1877 - Mr. Nick Pavely

This course on early American History encompasses the time from the discovery and creation of the country to Reconstruction after the Civil War. We will study how our country was created, why it took shape the way it did, how its government works, and what that means for us today.

English 8 AA - Ms. Teri Irvin

Welcome to the world of English Language Arts! Reading, thinking and writing is what ELA is all about. This year you will use and develop your skills to analyze, interpret and synthesize diverse texts in order to construct academic essays, narratives, arguments, and reports. There is an emphasis on vocabulary development, Greek and Latin root words and grammar usage, and mechanics. Literature studies include works across all genres including poetry, short stories, informational texts, magazines, and novels by a plethora of folks, even each other. The novels we have lined up include The Giver, Lord of the Flies, The Diary of Anne Frank and 1984 to name a few. You will have the opportunity to choose your own independent reading selections as well. With our combined knowledge, the guidance of English standards as a checklist, and your critical thinking skills in full action, we will have a wonderful, productive and enlightening school year. Students will be assessed using the state mandated AIR Test.

Our ultimate goal: Work toward acquiring and adding to a solid foundation of skills necessary for a successful career at Hughes STEM High School and in life.

Our culminating themes for the year are:

  1. How do historical events shape an identity (of a person, family, culture, or community)?
  2. Is society responsible for ensuring equity and access for all?
  3. How do the changes that people face impact them as they mature?
  4. How does one’s perception impact their vision of reality?

Physical Science AA - Ms. Grace Conrad

Students who successfully complete Physical Science will be granted 1 high school credit that will figure into their high school GPA. Students must complete an end of course exam. Students will be assessed using the state mandated AIR Test.