December 26, 2021
Portland’s Passion for Specialized Education: The Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering
An especially rigorous and specialized academy located in the greater Portland area, the opportunities they provide, and what it takes to get in
It’s no secret the past couple of years have been WONDROUSLY revolutionary in Portland’s education system. They’ve taken measures in revitalizing their take on education by unlearning ideologies that hinder the future of our society from breaching the societal confines of race & ethnicity to instill unity.
Portland has received quite the amount of attention for taking a progressive stance on converging ethnic studies within schooling. They believe that EVERY and all students of varying backgrounds deserve an unbiased chance at pursuing their passions and achieving great success.
A prominent example of this motif is the wide acceptance and enthusiasm some of Portland’s niche schools inhabit. A great example lies in Hillsboro, OR; in the Beaverton school district is a school known as the Beaverton Academy of Science and Engineering (BASE).
What is BASE?
Ranked as both Niche’s TOP public AND magnet high school in the entire state of Oregon, BASE strives to provide diversified community opportunities to succeed in innovative and collaborative work so they’re best prepared for the world beyond secondary education.
The BASE is a magnet program rooted in math, technology, and life science. It’s a learning option for grades 9 through 12, however, they do have a middle school curriculum for grades 6 through 8. Their middle school program was crafted to introduce many of the topics offered in the high school; they formulated a nine-week rotational system for the sixth and seventh-grade students to explore Computer Science, Engineering, Biomedical Studies, and Art. Eighth grade is when they start to partake in semester-long classes so they have a more solidified idea about their passions to fully embark on in high school.
In the high school program, there are three pathway options: Biomedical Studies, Engineering, or Computer Science. All in all, despite the chosen pathway, the institution has an Expeditionary Learning (EL) approach. This means students “experience expeditions (real-world, in-depth studies both inside and outside the classroom), share their learning and achievements with authentic audiences through public exhibitions, and belong to a Crew (EL’s advisory vehicle for fostering relationships and the habits of scholarship that every student needs to be successful)”.
The BASE does have quite intensive educational avenues. Aside from their foundational pathways of learning and core curriculum, coursework such as Advanced Placement and AVID are offered to align with the specialty of their magnet program. They even have intensive summer programs for those who want to move at a quicker pace and prepare for the next course!
The school’s emphasis on academic intensity requires quite an amount of academic integrity to support it. They encompass the importance of understanding plagiarism and how it negatively affects one’s education both in and out of the classroom. Not only that, they do require a certain level of dedication and consistency in attendance; the coursework is so accelerated compared to traditional education, a student’s presence is key to maintaining optimal learning retention.
But not to worry, BASE has loads of resources for students like academic support & counseling to ensure they receive all they can for success. Upperclassmen have the luxury of being offered College & Career based counseling so they feel validated and encouraged to make the decisions best for themselves and their future.
Outside of their academic life, BASE is a very tight-knit community. There’s an assortment of student clubs & organizations to allot time for extracurricular interests! Because this is a magnet school, there are no athletic teams for the students to join. Instead, they are allowed to try out and/or join their neighborhood teams! They must contact or research their neighborhood school’s athletic department for more information on how they can participate in sports.
Contrary to popular belief, this school does have an artistic side. There’s a program known as BASE Productions where students can explore their curiosity in art and film production! Celebrating and applying their creative skills serves as a great outlet to strengthen their communication as well. The film aspect of this program ties into the focus of technology at BASE, too!
If you want to explore everything BASE offers, check out their website..
How to Enroll in BASE
Due to the competitive nature of being a magnet program, BASE encourages all prospective students to go through their application process.
The application process is only open for a certain amount of time and involves different due dates for parts of the application.
A selection committee requires information and exemplification of the well-roundedness and the prospective student has to offer. They aim to make this just as beneficial of a match for the school as they do for the student themselves.
To apply, a student must provide previous transcripts, grades, basic information, and answer a series of questions. There is also a possibility of requiring letters of recommendation from educators who interact with the student candidly and constantly.
It’s beneficial to attend, or in the case of COVID-19, watch the open house BASE offers to fully encompass their mission and who they are as a school. They also have a virtual tour of the school grounds to get a sense of what the future of the prospective student may hold!
If you have particular questions about BASE, you can contact them!