Maritime and Science Technology Academy, or just MAST Academy as it is referred to, is public high school focused on marine studies. The academy was ranked by the US News & World Report as the 42nd best high school in United States.
MAST Academy is located at Virginia Key island, between Miami and Key Biscayne. The school is just next to the Miami Seaquarium and walking distance from The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
The academic focus of MAST Academy is primarily marine studies. Students choose one of three major areas of study in which a traditional U.S. high school curriculum is infused with maritime-related subjects. These areas are Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences (OAS), Maritime Studies and Culture (MSC), and Marine Related Industries (MRI). Special course offerings include Marine Science, Oceanography, Solar Energy, Environmental Science, Swimming, and Water Safety.
Mast Academy History
In 1990, MAST Academy was established in Key Biscayne.
In 2012, the school announced that it would expand by 1,700 seats, with preference given to eligible Key Biscayne residents. It was controversial and highly debated whether residents of the Village of Key Biscayne should be opened up to all Key Biscayne high school students. A former student was reported as claiming, “I can’t believe they are going to turn over the school to the affluent residents of Key Biscayne in return for $9 million,” adding, “it will really destroy what MAST is all about.”
In April 2015, a school shooting threat was posed toward MAST Academy, as a note was found reading, “On April 17, 2015 I will walk into this school and shoot everyone I see.” Some students decided to attend school on the day of the supposed shooting. In an interview with NBC 6 South Florida, one student was claimed his reasoning for attending to be, “I just really like learning, so I like going to class, and I’m not afraid.” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho later tweeted, “I am always impressed by the composure of our student body. ‘I am not scared. I am here to learn.'”
Awards and Recognition
During the 1994-96, 2006-07 and 2019 school years, MAST Academy was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
MAST Academy was one of six national finalists in the 2010 White House “Commencement Challenge”. People from across the nation voted to determine which school would host President Barack Obama as a commencement speaker.
MAST has established a tradition of academic excellence, and has been ranked among Newsweek’s Top 100 High Schools several times. It has been listed as one of “Miami-Dade’s Best Schools”, and, as of 2014, is ranked 10th in Florida.