The Eudaimonia Program for Advanced STEM Students

To the Greeks, the “good life” was defined by eudaimonia, the apex of human flourishing. The Eudaimonia program at Areté serves a population of gifted, highly motivated learners who crave extraordinary challenge and autonomy in science and mathematics.

Traditional math and science programs often fail the highly gifted and motivated student. A “one-size-fits-all” curriculum simply doesn’t work when learners have different backgrounds and strengths: at worst, the pace mismatch inspires classroom boredom–at best, students are accelerated to simply learn more facts, complete more problems, or race ahead to the next unit. These students need and deserve a richer, more authentic experience of what it means to do real science and mathematics.

Areté’s Eudaimonia Program seeks to reinvent math and science instruction, combining the best parts of university learning with the academic supports that allow gifted students to truly flourish.

  1. Asynchronous milestone learning. Eudaimonia students are motivated learners, who can work independently rather than waiting for the class to catch up. Students move through a structured curriculum at their own pace, with a qualified teacher always on hand to scaffold necessary skills and provide direction.
  2. Lab work with individual mentorship. The heart of science learning happens in the lab, but standard “cookie-cutter” labs are designed more to train technicians than working scientists. Instead, Eudaimonia students work closely with a mentor teacher to create a long-term laboratory project in their field of study, perform exploratory and formal science experiments, and analyze their results. Students will finish the year with a final report that summarizes their results in the larger context of modern research and serves as an impressive supplement to any college application.
  3. Connections to working scientists & engineers. To fully realize their projects, Eudaimonia students will need university lab equipment and expertise. Students will collaborate and consult with professors, working scientists, and engineers, all the while receiving background support from an Areté faculty liaison.
  4. Problem-solving roundtable. Although Eudaimonia students learn content at their own pace, they also need to experience collaborative problem-solving and working as a team. In weekly sessions, students come together with peers and teachers to tackle extra-challenging problems from the AMC and AIME competition math exams, discuss journal articles, or solve engineering challenges. Areté faculty will serve as Socratic facilitators, pushing students to get “in the mess” of problem-solving without fear of foundering.

The Eudaimonia “school-within-a school” model pushes the boundaries of a traditionally progressive program, offering a unique curriculum tailored to the student’s passions. Students are able to tackle real scientific work while leaving space to pursue advanced STEM topics not usually included in the high school curriculum–from linear algebra to fractal math to nanotechnology to machine learning and beyond.