Pumpkins and other projectiles to go “flying through the air” for science
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a flying pumpkin! The sky over Conniston Middle School will be full of non-traditional flying objects Friday, October 26, when students and staff take to the athletic field to test scientific theories and concepts they’ve been working on since school started. The Flying Pumpkins event also launches a three-year Quantum Foundation- funded collaboration between the West Palm Beach middle school and Palm Beach Atlantic educators and students. Conniston’s Science Department Chair Varsha Dabesingh said the initiative centers on project-based, multi-disciplinary modules for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science students. “Pre-labs are being conducted now to facilitate increased student comprehension in the classroom and on the field when it’s pumpkin- launching time,” she stated. “Cross- curricular integration will incorporate math, science, art, and writing in all dimensions of the project.”
Even the students in aftercare, under the guidance of Chris Wilkins, will participate in the construction required for the event. Students will also participate in the creation of advertisements aimed at capturing the interest of the entire school community. Principal Oscar Otero said community partnerships such as this one with Palm Beach Atlantic professors and students are vital in facilitating student achievement and academic success. “With collaborations and commitment like this from Palm Beach Atlantic, our students and staff alike are excited, engaged, and having fun while they learn; we’re grateful for this partnership and convinced that it will make a meaningful difference in acedmic outcomes and possibly future career choices,” he stated.
Three sessions of flying pumpkins are scheduled for October 26th.
1st session for 6th graders, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
2nd session for 7th graders, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
3rd session for 8th graders 1:30-2:30 p.m.
For more details about the venture, contact Ms. Younce, 561.802.5405 or Doris.email@example.com.
About the Palm Beach Atlantic-Conniston Middle Quantum-Funded Partnership
A team of PBA faculty from various disciplines will work with science teachers at Conniston Middle School through professional development sessions and by implementing laboratory modules in the classroom. The program’s fun, unconventional activities are designed to help students learn BIG IDEAS concepts and Florida Department of Education standards in science. “At Quantum, we are focused and energized about our recent grants to improve and enhance science education,” said Quantum Foundation President and Trustee Kerry Diaz. “This one is especially innovative because of the partners involved and the ability to touch not just teachers, but directly impact parents and their kids in our quest to get them more excited about science.” The Center for Integrative Science Learning team at PBA includes faculty who are former K-12 teachers and administrators and professors with terminal degrees in education, mathematics, music, physics, art and chemistry.
The project is expected to reach all 1,100 students at the school by the end of the third year. When the project is complete, curriculum and best practices will be shared with the District. The project director, PBA Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Mireille Aleman, will publish findings in peer-reviewed journals and present at professional conferences to share best practices nationally. “We’re excited about the paradigm shift we’re expecting this project to bring to middle schoolers,” Dr. Aleman said. “This is not just about teaching science. This is about restructuring young minds. This is about teaching students how to think for themselves.”