I wanted to add my
congratulations to Susan Conroy, Cinda Sheldon, Kathy Sfiligoj and Christina Wooley on their receipt of the Governor's Thomas Edison Awards for Excellence in STEM Education. As a close witness to their commitment to the science education of the Hudson students, I applaud them.
The new science standards require more application. That is what people who work in the scientific fields do; they apply science. Although labs in the schools with known outcomes are excellent at teaching kids science concepts, it's the application of those concepts to questions such as: "How does that happen?" "How does changing 'this' change what happens?" that makes student experience science. Educators and STEM professionals agree that science is alive and learned best when experienced.
Last year's addition of the Project Fair to the honors science curriculum created an excellent opportunity for students. Many students would not choose to participate in the Project Fair on their own (much like many would not choose to pursue algebra studies). Yet, it is the very best way to learn science. Incorporating Project Fair underscores the Hudson School District's commitment to rigor and excellence. Not only are students devoting their time and energy, so, too, are the honors teachers who frequently serve in a mentoring capacity as well as overall guide. The teachers' investment is invaluable, particularly during these first years as the program's kinks are worked out.
Science merits aside, participation in Project Fair also presents the best practice for job interviews, as students must defend their project record to someone with critical review. In the end, I know (having managed science fairs for 12 years) that students ultimately find themselves proud of their work and appreciative of teachers like those above for requiring the work and guiding the experience. I'm appreciative too.
Sheila King, Peninsula