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Fernbank Science Center

Scientific Tools and Techniques

What is STT?

The Scientific Tools and Techniques Program (STT) is a challenging, fast-paced, one-semester program designed to familiarize 9th grade students with the tools and techniques of scientific inquiry. STT students are involved in rigorous science curriculum and take an array of life and environmental science modules taught by instructors who are field specialists. Classes are held in our planetarium, obervatory, greenhouse, and laboratories that are equipped with state of the scientific instruments. In one semester students take two accelerated high school science courses: STT Biology and STT Environmental Science.

STT is free of charge and is open to any student who will attend a Dekalb County School District (DCSD) high school for 9th grade. Please note that students enrolled on DCSD magnet programs will not be eligible for the STT program. Transportation is provided to and from the science center for most schools. DCSD charter school students should check with their school regarding STT transportation.

Students in STT
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What will I do in STT?

STT engages students in hands-on, laboratory and field experiences such as: 
• Working with live animals in their natural habitats
• Utilizing 21st century technology
• Observing chemical reactions
• Operating microscopes
• Performing dissections
• Going on field trips
• Taking forest walks
• Flying drones
• And much more!

What can I expect from STT?

The STT program emphasizes critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and academic rigor. In addition to learning course content, you will:

• Gain exposure to many fields of science and science careers
• Engage in a variety of teaching and learning experiences
• Actively participate in a fast-paced learning environment
• Meet two science graduation requirements in one semester
• Have volunteer opportunities at FSC community events
• Work collaboratively with students who have diverse backgrounds
• Develop long-lasting friendships with students from other DCSD schools
• Build self-confidence and prepare yourself for greater success in high school and beyond

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How Do I Apply For STT?

You may apply during the spring semester of your eighth grade year. Ask your science teacher or your school’s STT liaison for an application and for more information.

Applications are accepted and selections made at your middle school. Selection criteria are based on grades, teacher recommendations and student interest in science. If you are a hard worker, a problem solver, and have a desire to expand your knowledge of science careers, STT may be for you!

For more information on 2021-2022 STT Application process, contact your school's STT Liaison.

Application/Liaison Information

Student Testimonials

What former STT students say about the program.

" I liked having the opportunity to learn from professionals who were very well versed in their field and excited about what they were teaching"

"Overall I learned a lot from STT and I had the chance to meet new people and interact with them, creating new friendships"

"I enjoyed the interactive labs allowing us to better know our classmates.  I also enjoyed meeting different people with different personalities, including teachers"

"I really enjoyed STT and would recommend it to almost anyone that will work hard and get up early, even if they aren't specifically interested in science.

"I was surprised that I learned so much in just one semester!"

"The field trips were awesome!"

More Images From STT

STT Group Photos