innovateNJ Initiatives are innovative programs and projects that are happening within New Jersey schools and districts with the support of the New Jersey Department of Education.
innovateNJ: Network Expansion Southern Hub Possibilities Tour
innovateNJ seeks to expand further across the state of New Jersey by magnifying the number of southern district representatives within the innovateNJ Community. On November 20th, 2015, the Office of School Innovation will hold the 2015 innovateNJ Possibilities Tour: Southern Hub. The Possibilities Tour, hosted by Voorhees Township School District will allow districts to see firsthand all the great opportunities the innovateNJ Community has to offer schools in New Jersey's Southern districts. Member districts, Voorhees, Fair Haven and Waterford, will showcase the wide-ranging possibilities that have been available to them through the innovateNJ Community. Following a tour of Voorhees Middle School, district representatives will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session and hear about innovative programs in elementary
Randolph SOLE Program
Across America, in any college, in any town, students are busy learning foundational and consequential subjects. Unlike the traditional lecture in days of yore, today's college students are likely to attend classes that are a blend of face-to-face and online meetings. These "blended" or "hybrid" courses allow for learning that is student-led and directed, which can result in deeper understanding. At BCIT in Westampton, high school students have been given the chance to learn a new subject and practice the soft skills so necessary for success in college.
West teachers are piloting three electives this fall, two sections of Human Behavior and one section of Forensic Science. Though the original plan was for two classes, the program was so popular that a third class was added. All three classes are filled to capacity, yet students are still applying for admission. Participating students are issued a Chromebook for their classes, which meet after school once per week for a two hour session and once per week online for an hour. Classes are inquiry-based and student-led. Last week, while teachers were meeting with parents for back-to-school night, students were meeting online to discuss the background, theories, and beliefs of famous psychologists.
Skye Fowler, a junior at BCIT, enrolled in Human Behavior as her interest lies in neuropsychology. She believes that if you can "enhance the time you spend somewhere, you should do that." Skye's goal is to get as much out of her high school years as she can. Though the class has seen some minor bumps, mostly due to technical issues, she is enjoying the creativity of the lessons and is excited to delve deeper into what drives human behavior.
Student Kayla Pearson didn't join until September. She was intrigued because one of her peers was enjoying the experience; unlike Skye, Kayla isn't sure what she wants to pursue in the future. She plans to explore as many topics as possible until she finds her place. The sensitive topics introduced in this course are captivating for Kayla, and she eagerly anticipates the weightier subjects to come.
The hybrid classes are a win for students and a win for the school community. The ability to extend the school day and pique student interest is invaluable, and staff members are busy planning ways to expand the program in the future.
Going Inside the Operating Room: My Experience with the Live From Surgery Program
My day at work typically involves performing spectacular science demonstrations in front of large crowds of people. Yesterday, though, I was the spectator. I sat in our JD Williams Theater at the Science Center with 200 middle school aged children from Nazareth Intermediate School from Nazareth, Pennsylvania and Warren Hills Regional Middle School from Washington, NJ and watched Dr. Stuart Geffner perform, in real time, a lifesaving kidney transplant. Not only did we watch this surgery, but we had the opportunity to interact with Dr. Geffner and his team the entire time.
Dr. Geffner and his team from Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ were amazing. Dr. Geffner walked us through the entire procedure step by step and stopped throughout to take questions from the students watching. The students were also able to look at and touch real surgical instruments similar to the ones Dr. Geffner and his team were using. His explanations were very clear and easy to understand and he made every question, silly or not, feel like it was the most important question ever asked. We started out in Operating Room 1 with the removal of the kidney from the donor and ended in Operating Room 2 with the placement of that same kidney into the recipient.
My favorite part was definitely the end. Dr. Geffner had just finished reattaching the renal vein and renal artery. He now had to release the clamps that were holding back the blood flow to the new kidney. At this point the new kidney was greyish in color because it didn't have a blood supply but all of a sudden Dr. Geffner released the clamps and just like that the kidney started to turn pink again. It was amazing…astonishing even. I had never seen anything quite like it before. Sure I watch Grey's Anatomy but to see this live in real time blew my mind. As everyone was leaving at the end of the program I just sat there thinking two hours ago that kidney was in some else's body.
For more information on the Live From Surgery Program: http://lsc.org/for-educators/live-from-surgical-program/
STEM Blog by Brittany Rosenberg. Brittany is a STEM Educator here at the Science Center. You may recognize her around the science center doing Live Science Presentations or traveling around the area facilitating one of the Traveling Science Programs.
Liberty Science Center's teacher educators facilitated two summer institutes (each five days in duration) for the Jersey City School District, one for their middle school science teachers the other for their high school science teachers. These institutes introduced the educators to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) providing a general overview of the NGSS three dimensions of Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science Practices and Crosscutting Concepts. Through engaging and informative hands-on science activities, participants were able to experience NGSS principles as active learners. This provided the foundation for reflection as science educators regarding their current pedagogical practices, identifying strengths of their teaching practices and developing action plans to address challenges to their teaching practices.
Please see attached logo.
Liberty Science Center Next Generation Science Standards Teacher Professional Development Day
Liberty Science Center's teacher educators facilitated a full day training for Paterson School District's middle school science teachers, one for their middle school teachers the other for their high school teachers. This professional development day introduced the educators to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) providing a general overview of the NGSS three dimensions of Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science Practices and Crosscutting Concepts. Participants were encouraged to bring sample lesson plans and engaged in a gap analysis activity where they identified lesson plan elements that aligned with the NGSS while also identifying elements that needed to be changed for greater NGSS alignment. Educators also participated in a hands-on, minds-on activity that illustrated the importance of students engaging in the Science and Engineering Practices.
Please see attached logo.