Wisdom Begins in Wonder

IMG_8092 (1)As I reflect on our community’s first month in the Warren building, I can’t stop smiling.  Walking through these halls everyday and observing kids exploring new and different paths to learning has been inspirational.  There are so many spaces our students and teachers can use both in and outside of the classroom to find the time and space to ponder, collaborate, make thinking visible, and struggle with complex, meaningful problems – these are the spaces where transformative learning happens.  Every classroom now has space for teachers to get their students up and moving, transitioning seamlessly between hands-on activities and discussion.

IMG_8008 (1)Having 6-12 science and technology in the same physical space makes it so easy for our teachers to plan, imagine, implement, and reflect together.  I am tickled pink to watch this building’s first cohorts of our public health and engineering concentration students envision, carry out, and communicate their own novel scientific research in our TWO, not one, but TWO student research suites!  These spaces open the possibilities for new senior projects, to increase the number of students leaning into up and coming science – further strengthening their ability to stand out and succeed with confidence and competence in college and beyond.

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Here are just a few examples of the powerful, and just plain fun, learning that I’ve witnessed since the start of school:

  • 8th grade Physical Science students using every inch of the break-out spaces on the MS floor to design their film pod rockets, and THEN using the front of the building to test and analyze them;
  • 7th grade Life Science students researching on our new Chromebooks and exuberantly debating with each other what it means to be biologically alive;
  • Biology students using microscopes to observe and interpret cellular transport in real time;
  • Physics students building and testing pendulums, deeply immersed in dialogue about the patterns they see emerging from their pooled data;
  • Environmental Science students doing microbial and chemical analysis on water supplies from around campus;
  • Both public health and engineering research students engaged in vigorous peer review and support of their research proposals;
  • And seniors during their free periods pulling up comfy seating next to the collaborate whiteboard spaces to work through challenging ideas together.Image-7

I invite you to visit our new home often, to see the magic happening within.  Whether you sit in on a Life Science class creating their Mars mission packing plans, see the Biology classes track the coming flu season’s genetic evolution, listen to our Chemistry students engage in argument from evidence after a chemical reaction lab, or just spend some time in our halls, I hope that you will know and feel deeply what a difference this space has made in the lives of our students and our faculty.  Our outside now matches the passion and talent on the inside that I believe our science and tech community has always had. I can’t wait to see what comes next, but I know it’s where wonder leads.

 

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