Giving Priorities

Current Priorities

Each year, the ASMS Foundation establishes giving priorities for the school. The 2020-2021 Giving Priorities are:

  • Outdoor classroom and recreational pavilion
  • Second floor renovations to the girls dormitory
  • Physics Department equipment
  • Outdoor amphitheater

Thank you to our donors who gave to our 2019-2020 priorities! These included:

  • New and upgraded campus wifi
  • Renovations to the 3rd floor of the girls dormitory
  • New AV equipment in the Auditorium
  • Updated school website
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Ongoing Priorities

Remote Learning Center

Screen Shot 2020 09 11 at 3 48 34 PM

We are pleased to announce that this fall of 2020, the ASMS Remote Learning Center will be constructed and officially open on West Campus! ASMS has received funding from several foundations to outfit the facility, and the state of Alabama has provided the funds for construction. We want to extend our gratitude and appreciation to these stakeholders for making this project possible and offering this innovative, educational space to our students.

What is a Remote Leaning Center?

In this era of a global pandemic, a remote learning center is a space designed to follow the guidelines for social distancing but also allow for some in-person instruction. In addition, the center will provide faculty with an area specifically designed for filming instructional videos for periods during remote learning. The Remote Learning Center will consist of 2 large classrooms that can accommodate classes of up to 25 socially distanced students. A third area will be a dedicated “studio” for faculty to record instruction. This room will be outfitted with the technology necessary for filming and streaming instruction.

What will the Remote Learning Center be used for after the pandemic?

Once the threat of the pandemic is over, the Remote Learning Center will be transformed into a Makerspace. A Makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school for creating, learning, exploring and sharing. These learning environments provide students with critical 21st century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Today’s high school students will inherit a world where change is the only constant, where automation will replace low-skilled manufacturing, and where artificial intelligence will replace analytical jobs. Google has found that soft skills are more important than content mastery. It turns out that students need empathy, problem-solving, flexible thinking, and collaboration skills in order to thrive in the creative economy. These are the types of skills students can develop in a well-designed school Makerspace.

What will the Makerspace at ASMS be like?

The ASMS Makerspace will be open to all students and have a variety of equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, and soldering irons. The multidisciplinary, collaborative, hands-on learning would help with critical thinking skills through activities related to electronics, coding, robotics and even woodworking. The facility would also enhance our music program with the addition of a band room.

Why is it useful to have a Makerspace at ASMS?

Here are five benefits of a Makerspace for ASMS students:

1. A Makerspace will help develop a maker mindset in students. When students develop a maker mindset, they learn to think divergently and solve problems by connecting seemingly disconnected ideas. Students also learn how to work through the entire design process, ask wild questions, engage in hands-on research, and ultimately generate innovative ideas.

2. Makerspaces encourage interdisciplinary learning. Students might do coding, circuitry, and engineering. They might also film documentaries or record podcasts for a documentary that blends together elements of science and social studies. In the process, students learn how to make valuable connections between the subjects and content areas that we have traditionally placed into silos.

3. Makerspaces can help promote equity. Although the gender gap is closing within the sciences, especially chemistry and biology, it remains stagnant in engineering and increasingly worse in the computer sciences. When teachers design gender inclusive Makerspaces, schools can help make strides toward reducing this gender gap. The same is true of students of color and other underrepresented groups.

4. Makerspaces are a perfect place to develop a growth mindset. A Makerspace is a safe place to fail. Here, students internalize the idea that every creative work is an experiment full of iterations.

5. Makerspaces improve student agency. In a Makerspace, students decide what they are creating and how they are going to create it. Students choose the supplies, the approach, the scaffolds, and the topics. As they move through the creative process, they learn how to monitor and adjust on their own.

ASMS is shovel-ready to build a new Science Research Center. This world-class facility will significantly increase opportunities for students to conduct research and make innovative contributions to their community, state, and nation. Students will have access to modern-day academic, laboratory, and collaborative spaces, positioning them to become global leaders. The Science Research Center is our commitment to advancing student success well into the future.

Employment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations has grown 79% since 1990, from 9.7 million to 17.3 million, outpacing overall U.S. job growth*. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trend is expected to continue with STEM employment growth of 8% through 2028.

ASMS has a responsibility to provide its students with exceptional preparation in science, technology, and research. It is of the utmost importance in today’s workforce. Our current facilities, which are over 80 years old, cannot be retrofitted to meet this need. The tools and research made available in the Science Research Center will expand our students’ expertise and skillset, preparing them for rigorous collegiate coursework and a competitive job market.

ASMS has an approved five-year strategic plan, and building the Science Research Center is at the core of the plan. Currently, we are enhancing our academic programs in anticipation of the Science Research Center.