School of Science and Technology

School of Science and Technology

Infobox Secondary school
name = School of Science and Technology

principal = Gregory Parcher
type = Public secondary
grades = 9–12
established = 1993
address = 1841 SW Merlo Drive [,-122.848542&sspn=0.007715,0.027122&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=45.507881,-122.848563&spn=0.015429,0.040169&t=h&om=1&iwloc=A]
city = Beaverton
state = Oregon
country = USA
oversight = Beaverton School District
enrollment = 167 (2007)
faculty = 9
campus = Suburban
mascot =
colors = Maroon and forest green
website = [ SST Homepage]
emblem = Lunar Crescent
newspaper = The Hub
The School of Science and Technology is an accredited, public secondary school located in Beaverton, Oregon, United States. It is a magnet program within Merlo Station High School for students who have an interest in mathematics, life and physical sciences, and technology.


The program started as a Certificate of Initial Mastery/Certificate of Advanced Mastery (CIM/CAM) program called the school of Natural Resources Science and Technology, or NRST, in 1993. The school occupied an old warehouse, which was renovated a few months before the program's opening. The five founding teachers were Beth Deal, Daphne Green, Eleanor Ritter, Stephen Hamilton, and Ariel Paisley. For the first year, 1993-1994, the program was 9/10th grade only and had 80 students. In the following two years it was expanded to 11th and then 12th grades. In 2001, the school's name was changed to SST, the School of Science and Technology, because many students thought that the original name was too long, and unfitting as the curriculum did not include very much about natural resources. One of the original five founders, Eleanor Ritter, still remains at SST; however, Daphne Green and Stephen Hamilton are still employed at Merlo Station High School in other programs. Beth Deal left after the 2006-07 school year to be a founding teacher at HS2, a new magnet school in the Beaverton School District, while Ariel Paisley left after the first year of NRST to teach in Hawaii. []


Of the 2005-2006 students, 77% were Caucasian, 22% Asian or Pacific Islander, 7% Hispanic, 3% American Indian, and 2% African American; 12% fit into multiple categories. 10% are on free or reduced lunch, 8% are eligible for special education, and 1% was enrolled in ESL. 37% were enrolled in TAG in middle or elementary school. []

The average SAT score was 602 in critical reading, 620 in math, and 569 in writing. Of the 41 graduating students in 2005, 38 graduated with their Certificate of Initial Mastery. []


In the 2006-2007 year, 9 teachers were employed in the SST program. Teachers had an average of 8.1 years of experience, and 87% had at least a masters degree in 2005-2006.

Application Process

Until 2007, students who wished to apply were required to follow an application process which involved writing three essays and an interview from one of the SST teachers. However, in effect from 2007-2008 onward, the Beaverton School District simplified the application process to a single "option school" application. This removed the essays and the interview from the application process. Due to the controversy of the change in application process, the Beaverton School District modified their new system to allow 15% of students to be accepted based on talent or sibling status, while the other 85% would continue to use the streamlined application.

This new application process is a point of controversy among students, who hold one of two points of view. The first is that the new, incoming students, will not be weeded out from the harder application, which before the change, meant that only students that wanted to attend would be accepted to SST. They fear that the attitude of students who are accepted into SST, by the easier application, will change the unique culture that they have grown accustomed to. The second opinion is that SST will gain new life from the potential "flood" of new students who were put off by the old application process. Students of this line of thought use the fact that the class of 2010 turned out to be much smaller than any of the other classes in recent history, presumably from lack of applicants under the old application process. This was a result of the teachers being unable to promote SST to as many 8th graders students. The new application process arguably better promotes SST to incoming freshmen.


All applicants to the School of Science and Technology are encouraged to shadow a current student for a day. This allows the applicant to see the school in its entirety, and to see a "day in the life" of an average student. This enables them to make the most informed decision regarding their application. If an applicant decides to shadow, he or she is assigned to a student of the same gender, same middle school, and a similar grade, as the shadow. In addition to shadowing, attendance to both school open houses and tours is promoted.


Science courses make up a large part of the SST curriculum, although the school is well-rounded as it also offers plenty of Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies courses. Unique to SST is the lack of physical education (P.E.) classes. Because the Beaverton School District requires 1 credit of physical education for graduation, SST students must complete and document 180 hours of physical activity in increments greater than 15 minutes.

Science Courses

*Advanced Biology
*Animal Behavior
*AP Chemistry
*AP Physics
*Conceptual Physics
*Earth Science
*Environmental Chemistry
*Environmental Issues
*Field Ecology
*Marine Biology
*Science Research

Humanities Courses

*Advanced American Literature
*Advanced Economics
*AP English
*International Relations
*Literature and Composition
*Modern American Literature
*Spanish I, II, III
*Speech and Debate
*US History
*US Issues
*World History
*World Issues
*World Literature

Mathematics Courses

*Algebra I
*Algebra II
*Advanced Algebra II
*AP Calculus

= Science Fair =

Science fair at SST is the completion of a science inquiry or engineering based, long term research project. The students do the project either by themselves or in teams no larger than three. Each project is required to have a presentation board, as well as a lab write up, including an abstract. All freshmen and sophomores are required to participate in science fair. Juniors and seniors may choose to participate, independently or as part of the Science Research class. Projects that do well at the SST science fair (which is mandatory for underclassmen) go to the Beaverton-Hillsboro Science Expo. Outstanding projects advance to the Intel Northwest Science Expo [] , which is a competition between the best projects in Oregon. Students may be invited to ISEF either at the district or state level by winning best of fair. Many projects from SST students have gone to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Fridays at SST

Most Fridays at SST have a different schedule than most mainstream high schools. The day's classes are run on a short day schedule, leaving an hour and a half at the end of the day for Friday Seminar and Junior Seminar. Seniors (12th grade) often have internships and do not attend classes at all.

Friday Seminar

Underclassmen (9th and 10th grade) are required to attend Friday Seminar. Throughout the year, what is done during Friday Seminar changes. At the beginning of the year, Friday Seminar is devoted to preparing the underclassmen for the required SST Science Fair. Following Science Fair in February, Friday Seminar turns into planning field trips and field trip days. Past and present Friday Seminar field trips include the Portland Japanese Gardens, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Timberline Lodge, and MAX art.

Junior Seminar

All SST Juniors are required to take Junior Seminar on Fridays. During this course, students are taught valuable life skills including tax information, credit cards, voting, and community service. Junior Seminar also goes into college and career planning, and has two Fridays set aside to visit college campuses in Oregon.


Seniors (12th grade) at SST have the opportunity to go to an internship on Fridays during the school year. At the end of the junior year, each student is given an internship application--the application asks for the students' interests, a resume, and permission slips. Students turn in these applications early in the fall of their senior year. Almost all students who want an internship will have receive one, pending an interview, before January. Being an intern allows seniors to gain field-based experiences in their areas of interest and serves as valuable career education.


Most traditions at SST revolve around building the school's community, as the program thrives on a feeling of togetherness.

Bowling Trip

Every year after the conclusion of the school level science fair, a field trip is made to a local bowling alley. This trip is sponsored mostly from proceeds made by the SST Student Store. The trip is usually a half day event, and takes place on a Friday in February. There is no expectation for every student to bowl because seniors are often at an internship and some students would rather play pool or arcade games. There is usually no organization in who plays against who, students play against their group of friends. Many pictures are taken, so this event has its own SST yearbook page.

The Beach Trip

At the beginning of the school year, SST takes all of the students and teachers to a beach on the Oregon Coast. The event takes place because it allows people to see each other after a summer of absence, meet the new students, build stronger focus relationship, and to plant the seeds of friendly competition between students. This trip usually is an extended day trip, meaning that students return to school after the normal school day would be over. There are many traditional events that almost always happen: 'focus' sand castle contest, a beach combing scavenger hunt, 'focus' tug of war tournament, and an extra long lunch break for relaxing. This trip is often one of the highlights of the school year for most students. A break in the traditional beach trip occurred during the 2006-2007 school year. Rising costs made transportation to the coast to expensive for the school to cover, so SST went to a local park instead.

Downtown Portland Scavenger Hunt

Every other year a scavenger hunt in Downtown Portland for freshmen and sophomores takes place. The teachers break the students into groups, each group generally composed of half of each class. A teacher or administrator is also placed with each group to help keep them safe. Each group is given a list of notable landmarks, a map, and a disposable camera. They are told to take photographs of each landmark, including the group of students in the picture. When student have "collected" everything on the list, they return to Pioneer Courthouse Square for lunch. When the student return to school they have to creatively present their photos, to be graded as part of their Friday Seminar grade.

Silver Falls Trip

SST goes on a trip to Silver Falls State Park at the end of the year. Busses are provided by the school for the freshman, sophomores, and juniors. If seniors want to attend, they have to find their own ride, because by this time they have graduated. When students arrive there is a barbecue lunch, opportunities for hiking, yearbook signing, hanging out, playing sports, and exploring the park. As the evening approaches, the school leaves the picnic area and retires to the cabins to prepare for dinner. By this time seniors have either headed home or are by themselves in the campground. After dinner, generally there is a slide show, and the freshmen load onto busses to start the journey home. The next morning, the sophomores and juniors have become the next year's upper class, where they discuss the upcoming school year.


School dances are also held three to four times a year. Dances at SST are often not limited to SST itself, but are available to any student in the building. The first dance in the academic school year is the Halloween dance, it takes place on the Friday before Halloween. The first time this dance happened was during the 2003-2004 school year. The Halloween dance replaced the SST haunted house which was traditional before the change. The second dance of the school year comes in December. If that year is an alumni day year, then the December dance is an alumni dance. If not, then the dance is a winter informal. The next dance usually takes place on a Saturday in the middle of March. This dance is considered "semi-formal", it is not considered a "formal" because tuxedos and dresses are not required, it is just requested that students dress up for the occasion. The last dance of the year may or may not occur, pending an interest by the students. This dance is usually very relaxed, and its proceeds might benefit a cause or one of SST's clubs.

Alumni Day

Alumni are also a part of SST's traditions through the biennial Alumni Day and corresponding Alumni Dance. These two events take place during the last week of school before winter break. The purpose of Alumni day is twofold: first, it gives the Alumni an opportunity to see their old teachers and classmates, second, current students can ask the Alumni questions about colleges, jobs, hobbies, advice, and about their lives after high school. Even when it's not Alumni Day, recent graduates of SST will often come back to visit teachers and friends that still attend whenever they are in town.

Quotes Book

SST has the unique tradition of an annual Quotes Book, which started during the 2004-2005 school year. The Quotes Book was instituted by SST alumna, Melissa McKenney, who became infamous for the phrase "I want your quotes!" (as well as for wearing the colour green). The Quotes Book features pages of quotes from students, faculty, and alumni that showcase the silly, funny, and often nerdy nature of the student body. The Quote Book is carried on by small group of group of students, spearheaded by Melissa's sister Sarah, that take on the task of collecting, citing, sorting, typing, of quotes; and the advertising, selling, and printing of the Quote Book. These students accept quotes from any student, which lets the book have a variety of students included.

Extracurricular Offerings

Clubs and Activities

*Anime/Movie Club
*Basketball Club
*Dance Club
*Drama Club
*Games Club (Chess Club)
*Improv Comedy Club
*Mock Trial Club
*Model United Nations Club
*Newspaper - "The Hub"
*Science Bowl
*Soccer Club
*Woods Walk Club
*Yearbook Club

Previous Clubs

*DDR Club
*PE Club
*Programming Club
*Roots and Shoots
*Speech and Debate Club
*Wii Club

External Clubs and Activities

*Beaverton Youth Peer Court
*Westview High School FIRST Robotics []


There are no official Varsity, Junior Varsity, or club sports offered at SST. However students often play pickup sports during the midday lunch break, other free times, Wednesday clubs, and after school. These usually include Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Sprout Ball, Kickball, and Ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate Frisbee is the only regularly played sport, occurring during every lunch period (weather and large assignments permitting) and weekly after school during the fall and spring. Sometimes students toss discs in the hallways or in classrooms to pass time. Current SST students and alumni organize summer play at a local field, students from Beaverton High School also regularly attend. The regularly playing students occasionally organize themselves for formal competition. They form a team and compete in Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in the area. When this happens the team is formed under the name 'Windchill' and frequents the Coldfusion, Turkeybowl, and Oregon State High School Ultimate Championships. Although there is a core group that plays Ultimate regularly, all students are welcomed and if needed, taught the rules and techniques. Anyone is invited to play whenever they can regardless of skill, or athletic ability.

More About Clubs

The majority of clubs are student-run under the supervision of the teachers. If a club no longer has a very high attendance rate, or there is a lack of interest in the subject, the club is discontued or put on hiatus at the end of an academic quarter. Conversely, if there is great interest in an activity or subject and a group of students decide that they would like to begin a club it is an extremely simple task for them to instate one. Some clubs have steadily existed for several years--such as Leadership, Yearbook, and Drama--while other clubs come and go lasting only a quarter or two.

Related links

* Beaverton School District
* Merlo Station High School


External links

* [ SST Homepage]
* [ Detailed School Demographic]
* [ 2005-2006 School Report Card]
* [ Merlo Station High School]
* [ SST Application Form]
* [ Beaverton School District]
* [ Alumni Website]
* [ Unofficial SST Webpage]

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