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Introducing Vancouver’s First & Only Dedicated STEM High School

Back to School, Education, Technology
5 min read
visst

In order to tackle the large issues we are facing in today’s (and tomorrow’s) world, STEM skills are needed more than ever, and benefit everyone. Thriving in work and in life requires computer and data literacy skills. It’s a given that future researchers and scientists will rely on these skills. Imagine a world though where more politicians, lawyers, and influencers are also equipped with the fundamental STEM and data literacy skills to work hand-in-hand in helping them building cohesive solutions to big scale problems.

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In an emerging tech hub of 3 million people, VISST (Vancouver Independent School For Science And Technology) is proud to be Vancouver’s first and only dedicated STEM high school. Starting in Grade 8, VISST offers the full B.C. curriculum, along with enriched Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

During a time of increasingly progressive curriculums and lowering academic standards, VISST imagines a school that is both progressive and rigorous by balancing its accelerated content with smaller class sizes and more engaging approaches like project-based learning and collaboration with real-world organizations. We are a school for all students who have an interest in technology and STEM subjects, and do not require any special training or education prior to our grade 8 intake.

We welcome students to challenge the teaching team about what they’re learning and how they’re learning it. That’s because we believe that student buy-in is crucial to the kind of elevated educational outcomes that we are aiming for. Students at VISST are respected as partners and collaborators in their education, and take responsibility for various roles and clubs in the school. The students, teachers, and administrators come together each week for a school-wide meeting where students add items important to them to the agenda, make motions, and vote on decisions that impact the school.

At VISST, students are more than “kids,” they are partners and collaborators in the process of building and operating the school.

VISST was created by a team that includes a co-founder of UBC’s Master of Data Science Program, an award winning physicist who works on Canada’s National Particle Accelerator at TRIUMF, a biology specialist with her PhD in Behavioural Ecology, and previous president of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST). Other exceptional educators and administrators who make up our team have been chosen for their outstanding depth of relevant experience, and for their unique and passionate approaches to education. Meet our team here!

As a non-profit and a registered charity, VISST stands by its belief that great education should be accessible. Our need-blind, sliding scale tuition model is totally transparent, assigns tuition based on a family’s financial situation, and can give parents a clear idea of what their tuition costs would look like in only a few seconds on the VISST website.

If you are a student who is interested in STEM, technology, and getting further and more in-depth on the topics that interest you, or if you know such a student, consider touring VISST with the Director of Admissions, or joining an upcoming Open House.

Applications Now Open for the 2024-25 School Year

Introducing Vancouver’s First & Only Dedicated STEM High School - BC Parent Newsmagazine

Why VISST?

  • 🥇 Join our community as Vancouver’s first and only dedicated STEM high school.
  • 🔋 Come to school refreshed — classes start at 10:00am! (But doors open at 9am for those who prefer to arrive earlier.)
  • ⏩ Pursue an accelerated curriculum that creates time for more in-depth math & science courses.
  • 💻 Learn computer science starting from Grade 8! (Typically, this critical subject area is left to universities.)
  • 💪 Enter university prepared. (Avoid that big jump in difficulty from high school to 1st year university STEM.)
  • 🌏 Work outside the school bubble by interacting with our broader community. (See our Student Work page!)
  • 🤝 Be seen and heard as an individual, with input into decisions affecting your own learning and the broader school community.

What makes VISST different?

  • A progressive tuition model that accounts for each family’s circumstances – we don’t want tuition to be a barrier to a great education.
  • An integrated curriculum where teachers forge connections between subjects.
  • Transparent and open communication between the school, students, and parents.
  • A place where students take responsibility for, and take care of, the facilities and each other.
  • Cultivating curiosity and having fun as explicit goals of the school — learning new things is not the only metric for success.
  • A learning environment where all students want to be there and are excited to learn.
  • Clear connections between school subjects and life outside of school; students won’t be left wondering, Why am I learning this?

*Students wishing to enroll in grade 9 or above may require an assessment and some preparatory work, given that they may have some gaps due to the accelerated nature of VISST’s curriculum starting in grade 8.

Introducing Vancouver’s First & Only Dedicated STEM High School - BC Parent Newsmagazine

www.visst.ca

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