SAMS project kicks off at Lawn Avenue School
Recently, President Obama announced a $250 million initiative to train math and science teachers and to increase students’ interest and achievement in these disciplines in the next decade. Prior to President Obama’s announcement, the Jamestown Education Foundation and the Lawn Avenue School recognized the need to increase the relevance and real world connections in math and science instruction at the middle school level.
Last year, JEF – together with the Lawn Avenue School – applied for and received an appropriation through the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s office to enhance teaching and learning of math and science at the middle school level.
The project, entitled Science and Math Scholars, officially kicked off in October when Congressman Kennedy presented a $200,000 grant check to the school. Since then, a significant amount of work has been done to get SAMS started.
The Lawn Avenue School recently purchased a weather station from the American Meteorological Society. The weather station will be installed later this month and will allow seventh and eighth grade science teacher Jim Kaczynski to begin teaching a unit on weather with data collected directly from the top of Lawn Avenue School. This unit will lead into units on renewable energy and the relationship between weather and energy demands and generation.
During the winter break, new Smartboards were installed in two of the sixth grade classrooms. In addition, science teacher Deb Barone recently purchased new aquaculture tanks to begin a unit in which students will have the opportunity to observe the lifecycle of guppies and seahorses.
In the coming months, students will work with scientists and researchers at local world-class research facilities to gain hands-on experience. Students in the sixth grade will have an opportunity to work with members of the Roger Williams University aquaculture research facility. Students in the seventh and eighth grades will have the opportunity to work with scientists from URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography and National Grid.