student looks closely at 3D printer in action, laptop and schematics up on side

Hands-on and relevant, our science classes engage our students with gusto.

From egg drops in physics to titration labs in chemistry, and from waste audits in biology to crime scene investigations in forensics, science comes alive for De Smet Jesuit students. Stacked with brave and talented faculty, our science teachers are unafraid of snakes, explosions, machinery, chemical reactions, teaching outside, getting dirty, and giving boys real-world learning.

From Our Science Department

  • Science Teacher
Evan Jenkins '13

I enjoy the beauty we can find in the physical world and the movement of the universe. The beauty can only increase your faith that God plays an active role in the physical world.

  • Science Teacher
Dr. Mariette Baxendale

I try to present biology and forensics material in a way that the guys find interesting, relevant, and applicable. I challenge my students with looking at the concepts in lateral ways, as the real world is not textbook. The real world is challenging, integrated, and warrants informed, faith-based decision making. Classes are focused on fostering skills that would help my students understand, live, and make informed, faith-based choices as they navigate this world.

A boy from a jesuit high school in Missouri works on a robotics project.


STEM, Robotics, 3D Printing and More

Dynamic electives, AP classes, and multiple college credit options expand the rich curriculum that prepares students for futures with technology and innovation.

STEM Focus

Choosing Classes

Flexible Placement and College Credit

Students are placed in classes that challenge them at their level and can move up and down as needed.

Curriculum Guide

student smiles while holding dark brown snake with golden brown loop patterns

Many Ways to

Learn and Love God's Kingdom

"There’s a lot you can learn from a live animal in the room," says Drew Nieters '20. 

Meet Zeus from room 308.


The De Smet Jesuit Science Department believes the student should have an understanding and appreciation for the physical and natural laws that function in our universe. The De Smet Jesuit science will be able to:

  • Understand and apply scientific principles
  • Collect, organize, analyze, interpret and present scientific data
  • Design and conduct scientific investigations
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Use technology as a scientific tool
  • Solve problems 
  • Write lab reports
  • See science in our everyday experiences
  • Unify concepts and processes across scientific disciplines
  • Identify current social topics related to science
  • Understand the dynamic nature of scientific theories
  • Appreciate how we know what we know
  • Understand and apply the scientific method
  • Work collaboratively on experiments and activities


Freshman Year

  • Biology
  • Honors Biology

Sophomore Year

  • Chemistry
  • Honors Chemistry

Junior Year

  • Conceptual Physics
  • Physics
  • AP Honors Physics 1

Senior Year Electives

  • ACC Honors Forensic Science
  • AP/ACC Honors Biology
  • AP Honors Chemistry
  • AP Honors Physics C Mechanics
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Digital Electronics
  • Introduction to Robotics Systems
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Introduction to Design Thinking
  • 3D Design and 3D Printing

Science Electives

Advanced Robotics

Students work to master pneumatics, electronics, drive train mechanics, motors/gears, wiring, safety, and programming. This course will be directly connected with the robotics team as it competes in the FIRST robotics competition at the FRC level.

Read More about Advanced Robotics

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way for freshmen to get involved is by enrolling in the zero hour (after school) class, Introduction to Competitive Robotics. 

During the first semester, students meet one day per week and learn the basics of robotics. In second semester, they will get credit for being a team member on DuRT (De Smet Robotics Team) and compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. 

Students can still join DuRT, even if they do not take the zero hour class.

There are 200 schools giving more than 80 million dollars in scholarships to students involved in FIRST. These range from full rides to $500/year. See the complete list of schools that offer FIRST robotics scholarships here

Missouri schools include: Maryville University, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri, St. Louis Community College, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri S&T, University of Missouri, and Mineral Area College.

Freshmen at De Smet Jesuit begin their required science curriculum in biology; sophomores take chemistry; and juniors study physics.

Students can choose from a wide range of science electives to complement their required coursework as well as earn college credit. Advanced and extended learning opportunities are available in forensics, anatomy and physiology, digital electronics, robotics, 3D Design, 3D printing, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics.

More From Science

Science Faculty

Mariette Baxendale

Mariette Baxendale

Teacher, Department Chair
PhD, Biology, St. Louis University
MS, Research-Biology, St. Louis University
BS, Biology, Rockhurst University
Harold Barker

Harold Barker

Director of Athletics
MS, Athletic Administration, Ohio University
BA, Biology, Washington Unversity
Gene Bender

Gene Bender

MA, Teaching/Educational Technology, Webster University
BS, Electrical Engineering, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Drae Cox

Drae Cox

Director of Diversity & Inclusion
EdD, Instructional Leadership, Lindenwood University
MA, Education, Lindenwood University
BS, Athletic Training, Lindenwood University