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New K-8 Science Curriculum - Focus on STEM and Activity Based Learning

The Boonton school district has adopted a new science program at the grade K-8 levels. HMH Science Dimensions curriculum aligns with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and engineering and STEM are an essential part of the curriculum.  The program focuses on activity based learning and the real-world application of scientific concepts.


Mrs. Kelly’s third grade class recently worked on a Bridge Building project as a hands-on component of what they are currently learning in science.  “The students worked in groups with a “criteria and constraints” list. They were challenged to create the longest bridge using specific materials (Popsicle sticks, Q-tips, pipe cleaners, clothes pins, scissor, and ruler),” explains Mrs. Kelly.  “The students were super excited to do this hands-on activity and to work in a team. There were moments of frustration when a bridge would collapse or an idea didn't work but then they would go back and try again and with time each group was able to meet the criteria of the challenge. I like this new curriculum because it engages students, promotes active learning and deeper thinking, and definitely sparks and interest in the sciences!”


When asked how they liked working on the Bridge Building project, the students gave positive reviews as well.  “Their comments, shared below, support the goal of encouraging the students’ curiosity, creativity and explorations while preparing them for possible careers in STEM,” said Mrs. Kelly.


Emily C.: "I like the project because you could only use certain materials and had limited time and that made it challenging.”


Hazel S.:” This project made our minds work better and sometimes working in a group can be hard but those are skills we will use as adults.”


Hasan M.: “Sometimes it could be frustrating building over and over again but then if you kept trying you could work it out somehow."


Luis F.: "I liked that we could choose our own design for the bridge.”



Pictured right (left to right): Luis Fontanez, Hasan Malik, Emily Cueto and Hazel Spencer.