Redefining the Classroom

Advanced Technology Academy

Mission Statement

To provide students with high-quality interdisciplinary learning experiences that challenge them academically and develop students' problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills. By building strong local partnerships with businesses and higher education entities, Advanced Technology Academy and our Ford Next Generation Learning Framework's Business Education Advisory Council (BEAC) encourage and prepare students for success in college and professional careers in fields, such as business, engineering, health care, technology and public safety.

Advanced Technology Academy Locations

  • Address
    4801 Oakman Blvd.,
    Dearborn Michigan 48124
  • Phone
    (313) 625-4700
  • Fax
    (313) 582-9407
  • Website

Advanced Technology Academy Contact Information

Administrative Officer:
Kay LaGreca

Management Company:
Technical Academy Group
Barry Hawthorne, Executive Director

Board of Directors:
Vice President: Peter J. McInerney,
Secretary: Floyd E. Addison,
Trustee: Suzanne Sareini,
Trustee: David J Esper,


LSSU Oversight Officer:
Chris Oshelski
Executive Director Charter Schools

Contract (pdf)

Advanced Technology Academy STEM Curriculum

July 2014

Advanced Technology Academy (ATA) will embark on its sixth year of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) implementation during the 2014-15 academic school year. Our STEM programs implement research based inquiry approaches to teaching and learning to promote problem-solving and critical thinking through real-world application, 21st Century skills and authentic academic experiences. This engagement should result in higher success rates in other core subjects such as math and science through application of multi-disciplinary concepts. It is a priority to engage diverse learners in rigorous and challenging curricula. Exposure to the inner working of the professional industry may also promote career interest in high demand areas of STEM.

STEM programs offered at ATA have evolved each year to increase student engagement and success. Our recent partnership with Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has presented various opportunities to further enrich our already successful STEM program. Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and Engineering is Elementary (EiE) are all highlights of ATA and EMU affiliations.

To prepare for the incorporation of the Next Generation Science Standards, with the interest of motivating all ATA students, and with best instructional practices in mind, Advanced Technology Academy continues to build a real-world, projectbased, hands-on STEM curriculum. Our teachers continue to prepare themselves for this style by attending workshops at school, regional and state levels, as well as by utilizing new technology and engineering ideas in their classrooms.

The academies ultimate goal is to use PLTW to enrich its STEM curriculum by teaching students how to think for themselves and contribute to society. Through the 8th grade Gateway to Technology (GTT) and 9th grade Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) courses students have learned how about drafting and computer-aided design. The Gateway to Technology (PLTW GTT) course also incorporates the following modules into its curriculum: Science of Technology, Medical Detectives, Design and Modeling and Automation and Robotics. During the 2014-15 school year Principles of Engineering (POE) will be added to the 10th grade curriculum. When asked about her pedagogical goals Ms. Gleason the middle school PLTW teacher stated "I strive to stimulate and motivate students in a way that turns on areas of the brain suppressed by traditional education models. I want my students to be confident and well versed in STEM areas."

Through its departmentalized elementary school students are taught an hour per day about the fundamentals of engineering concepts through the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum. This curriculum was developed by University of Science, Boston and focuses its modules upon life science, physical science, earth and space science. Each unit of instruction is comprised of a teacher guide, story book and material kits. This opportunity develops students thinking at a young age to inquiry based thinking and reasoning as well as teaching them about them about the engineering design process. Through this program students' cognition is developed so they can solve problems systematically.

Working with Eastern Michigan University on PLTW and EiE has been a rewarding experience as it established a partnership in which teachers were supported to try the programs and know that if something did not work the university was there to aide them. It also assisted EMU as the teachers were able to express what did and did not work well in their classrooms throughout the school year. Students knowledge regarding engineering concepts was enhanced and as students further develop their skill sets they will become increasingly ready for the their future education and career opportunities.