While I’m a History teacher and could happily go on and on about the job my department does in terms of getting students to think deeply about the material we are studying and to be able to effectively articulate their ideas verbally and in writing, I’ve got to give some love to the Science department as they are doing all kinds of cool things right now that are giving our students a tremendous educational experience.
1) A couple of weeks ago it was National Science Week and the department made sure our students knew it. There were public demonstrations and experiments all over campus exposing students (and faculty) to some awesome stuff from the various scientific disciplines. One of the science teachers made a video of some of the experiments so you too can enjoy the fun (and learn a couple of things as I did). Check it out:
2) This fall will see several significant additions to the department. The installation of a 3D printer, a Maker Space, and of a couple of Engineering classes will all enrich students’ experiences here significantly and expand the opportunities they have. I am incredibly excited to see what the classes and the Spartan Builders Club produce with these cool new additions, but I also am excited because I know that another result of this will be the neat ideas and projects that get produced because a group of students want to be creative and explore in the maker space during the weekends here – a long way from my days as a youth just sitting playing Atari!
3) The Science Department also has been at the forefront of the school in terms of exploring project based learning, cooperative teaching, etc. They are having students do blogs, make films, have experimented with the Flipped Classroom model, use our educational garden and greenhouse as an educational tool (I ate a delicious salad in the dining hall the other day courtesy of our Honors Biology class!), etc. I’m personally excited as one of our teachers approached me about doing a joint Science/Social Studies elective next year. We’re going to look at some of the current issues where there is some dismissal in society about what many feel to be scientific fact. Issues like global warming, fracking, etc. will be discussed and we’ll try to discover what the scientific facts are and to understand what societal or sociological forces are at work that keep whatever facts there are from being acknowledged and acted upon. Should be a ton of fun!
To my colleagues in the Science Department – wonderful job!
To my students, I hope you know how lucky you are! And if you don’t, remind me to tell you about my biology class with Ms. Gurevicz when I was in 9th grade.