Throughout the 2013 – 2014 school year, Jersey City Public Schools will partner with Liberty Science Center to bring interactive STEM education to students and teachers alike. The pilot program will merge models of formal and informal science education in the interest of improving the academic performance of Jersey City’s students.
Every Friday for 29 weeks, 50 third graders will spend a half-day learning in the sophisticated science labs of the Jennifer A. Chalsty Center and from the dozens of exhibitions LSC has to offer. At the same time, teachers and educational aids will work with LSC’s professional development team to bring STEM best-practices back to their schools. The teacher workshops will also aim to integrate the students’ experiences at LSC with what they learn in the classroom.
“This partnership is significant because it provides third graders high levels of STEM instruction through a curriculum that is rigorous and hands-on,” noted Dr Marcia Lyles, Superindendent of the Jersey City Public Schools. “Working more closely with Liberty Science Center will allow us to engage younger children in STEM in a sustained and in-depth way.”
To measure the program’s impact, schools will track how participating students perform on district assessments and the state science assessment next year in grade 4.
Paul Hoffman, President and CEO of Liberty Science Center, expressed his thanks for Superindendent Lyles and LSC VP of STEM Education Dan Menelly for their, “forward thinking” in putting the program together.
“Jersey City is the second largest city in New Jersey, and LSC is the largest interactive science center in the New York metropolitan area,” he said. “If we can get the informal-formal instructional model right, we have the potential to improve the education of many thousands of students right here in our community.”