Spring has sprung here on St. Mary’s Hill. As we see more and more green and hear the birds chirping in the morning, we know that the Risen Jesus is here with us, blessing our efforts.
There are some new “buzz words” in the education field that you may be hearing. STEM, STEAM, STREAM, and Makers Spaces are the latest hot topics. STEM, the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects is a direction that many schools are pursuing. STEAM adds the Arts to that group, and STREAM adds the Arts and Religion. Makers Spaces are rooms that have the materials needed to build, design, and experiment with the concepts learned in these lessons.
Much of this comes from the fact that new science standards are being implemented in many states, including New Jersey. The Next Generation Science Standards – NGSS – are changing the way science is being taught. If you would like to know more about this, you may go to this website. http://static.nsta.org/pdfs/NGSSParentGuide.pdf
Here at ICS, we have been learning about the new Science Standards and discussing how we will roll them out in the classrooms. Mrs. Jones has been attending articulation meetings at North Hunterdon High School with Science teachers in all of the surrounding public school districts. She has already attended several different training classes and four additional teachers will join her this summer at Raritan Valley CC for a full week class on implementing the NGSS. With the assistance of our PIE committee, we have been researching options and we are currently reviewing materials.
Science teachers have been adding a few STEM related projects to their current lessons. This is very much an exploratory stage.
The new science standards offer many Project-based learning opportunities for students. They are aligned with the goals of 21st Century Learning and will better prepare students for eventual careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We will be moving slowly into the implementation of these standards after teachers are trained and appropriate materials are secured.
As always, my door is open and I am always available for conversations. Please consider attending the H.S.A. meeting on May 3 where we will discuss this further.