Our Curriculum

Course Outlines

What & How VIDA Teaches

>We are standards-based and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) & Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


>We are rigorous - this does not mean more work, but rather having students go more in-depth. Middle School is a vital time in the development of students and we push students to persevere and to not give up.


>We are interdisciplinary - what a student is learning in one class should connect to what he or she is learning in his or her other classes. Through collaboration and detailed planning, teachers work hard to connect thematic units across subject areas.


>We are inquiry-based - students are first problem-finders and through their investigation, research, and exploration, they become solution-designers. Associated with the concept of Project Based Learning, teachers expertly craft Design Challenges to motivate and engage students in learning.


>We apply the Design Thinking process, or aspects of the process to many assignments and/or projects (Discover the Problem, Empathy for Needs, Define your Focus, Ideate/Brainstorm Creative Solutions, Prototype by Creating the  Solution, Test the Solution and Repeat as Needed).


>We offer the full "Project Lead the Way" Gateway program. Project Lead the Way is the premier Science, Technology & Engineering curriculum in the nation. Project Lead the Way was developed in conjunction with universities to provide engaging, inquiry based, and highly-rigorous opportunities for students. The program is delivered to students through their core science classes and through Design Lab (Seminar Class) selections. Project Lead the Way is also used at Mission Vista High School, a school the VIDA students are given priority admission to attend. Learn more about Project Lead the Way HERE.

Project Lead the Way

VIDA has fully adopted the "Project Lead the Way" Gateway program. The Gateway program provides multiple units that are incorporated in different ways into the student experience and learning. These are the ways that students have exposure to the PLTW Gateway program at VIDA. Please note that some of the paths are integrated into the Science Curriculum, and some are option that students can select into.

6th Grade (Integrated into Curriculum):

     Design & Modeling

    Automation & Robotics (VEX Robotics)

7th Grade (Integrated into Curriculum):

     Energy & the Environment

8th Grade (Integrated into Curriculum):

     Magic of Electrons

     Science of Technology (2016-17)

VIDA Seminar Classes (Design Labs) - Semester Long Electives

     Medical Detectives

     Green Architecture

     Computer Science (1 & 2)

     Flight & Space (currently Flight & Rocketry 1 & 2)


For more information about these offerings from PLTW, please CLICK HERE.


What is a Seminar (Design Lab)?

VIDA Seminars (Design Labs) are a central element to the Magnet Theme experience at VIDA. They are specialized classes that enhance creativity, build technical skill, or focus deeply on the Design Thinking process. For more specific information regarding Design Labs, CLICK HERE.

Elective or Intervention?

Most students at VIDA will be eligible for an Elective class each year. Some students will be better served by additional time in an Intervention support class of some type. These placement decisions will be made by the Counselor, and parents/guardians will be notified of any student who is scheduled into an Intervention course, the justification for being scheduled into an Intervention course, and the requirements to exit from an Intervention course.

For Electives, students will rank their top three choices of interest. CLICK HERE for more information about the Elective classes that we offer at VIDA.

For Design Labs, students will select the theme of interest that most appeals to them.