Science dept. discusses work

GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Enlarged School District’s Board of Education heard from members of the science department Tuesday as teachers discussed what they were doing to keep students interested in classes.

Boulevard Elementary School teacher Cathy Stearns, middle school teacher Rick Douglas and high school science teacher Jeff Gardiner presented their perspective on how the science program was working in the district.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Frank Pickus, students in third grade become invested in the program by using science kits donated by the Monroe-Orleans Board of Cooperative Educational?Services.

Prior to this, Pickus said one of the challenges in the lower grades was to find a way to fit science into their requirements.

“When we moved to the 90-minute literacy block, we had to look for ways to embed science and social studies into the content of what the kids are reading, and they are reading a tremendous amount of science,” Pickus said. “Now that we have moved to the state modules, they are reading even more, and it doesn’t always align with the goals for the year in science and social studies, but it does introduce them to a massive amount of informational text in those subjects.”

Stearns said a lot of the science modules and kits have been used for years. Butterfly kits let students learn about lifecycles, while other courses learn about bouyancy. One of the most popular kits teaches students about electrical circuits by assembling them.

Stearns said the elementary schools are working hard to keep students involved.

“In fourth grade, there is a big push on science,” Stearns said.

Douglas said the science courses in the middle school have been going well.

“Things are going great,” Douglas said. “I just see a very positive situation in the middle school.”

According to Douglas, from sixth through eighth grade, the main goal is to get students ready for high school. Work includes courses on scientific method, physical science and chemistry, formulas and equations. Life science and genetics also are introduced.

“It is pretty involved,” Douglas said.