Advanced Technologies Academy (A-TECH) is a magnet public high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. It focuses on integrating technology with academics for students in grades 9-12. The magnet school program was founded in 1994 and is part of the Clark County School District. The first year included only 9th and 10th grade, adding a grade each year. The first graduating class was 1997, and the first graduating class with all four years of attendance was 1998. As of 2011, the school had an enrollment of 1,059 students and 60 classroom teachers on a FTE basis, for a student-teacher ratio of 18:1. The magnet school focuses on computer and technology related study fields.
As of 2017, A-TECH is ranked #1 in the state of Nevada and #287 nationally by US News and World Report.
Unlike traditional high schools, A-TECH has no team sports. Students wishing to play team sports participate at their zoned high school. Games of flag football and basketball had been held between A-TECH and Las Vegas Academy (another local magnet school with no sports teams) since the school's opening, though have been discontinued since 2008. Games of flag football and soccer are held annually between A-TECH and Northwest Career and Technical Academy, a magnet school that was opened in 2008.
The gymnasium building began construction during the 1998-1999 school year, and opened in 2000.
Efforts to increase the student population at the school began in the early 2000s. Construction of the school's east wing (including additional classrooms, offices, and a lecture hall) and expansion of the existing cafeteria began in 2002, and were completed in time for the start of the 2003-2004 school year. The expansion increased enrollment from approximately 750 students to just over 1000.
Fields of study
A-TECH currently provides seven areas of study:
- Architectural Design: Students in Architectural Design are introduced to the principles of architectural drawing, design, and introductory civil engineering concepts using two and three-dimensional drawing techniques, rendering, and animation to prepare for jobs in architecture and engineering. Areas of concentration include building codes, construction methods and materials, climate, energy efficiency, sustainability, green building concepts, presentation skills and portfolio development. Students test their skills through project based learning activities and participation in local and national design contests. Upon successful completion of this program, students will have acquired entry-level skills for employment in this field.
- High School of Business: Students are prepared with the principles and operations of business and management found in today’s technologically advanced economy. The curriculum prepares students for customer relationships and multiple forms of management associated with business. Economics, finance, operations, and professional development are emphasized throughout the program. The appropriate use of technology and industry-related equipment is an integral part of the program.
- Computer Science: In Computer Science, students focus on programming in C++ and Java. The programing experience is enhanced by the use of IDEs such as CodeBlocks, BlueJ, and InteliJ. It also incorporates the 21st Century Curriculum and prepares students to move forward in their chosen field whether it is software development, game development, app development, or any other field. Students are further prepared through their development of workplace readiness skills and employability skills for career readiness. Students have opportunities to participate in internships, hackathons, student led workshops, and the Hour of Code.
- Engineering: Engineering students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same technology and software as are used in the industry. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as 3D modeling, machine design and control, forces, structures, basic electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and teamwork, beginning post-secondary education, or careers.
- Graphic Design: Students focus on the professional areas of graphic design, computer art, and video. They develop skills in the areas of drawing, digital and visual communications, design critiquing, portfolio development, and presentations. Projects, design competitions, and internships allow students to apply their skills at professional levels.
- Information Technologies: In Networking Technology, students develop the skills necessary to support microcomputers with various platforms and to administer network systems. Students are taught the fundamentals of Local Area Network design and the responsibilities of system administrators. Students prepare for the Cisco CCNA, and A+ Certification.
- Legal Studies: Students in this program focus on civil and criminal law with practical training in the skills necessary for pursuing a law related occupation. Students explore themes in both civil and criminal law reflecting American social, moral, political, and economic values. The appropriate use of technology and industry standard equipment is an integral part of this program.