An EcosySTEM for Representative Learning

An EcosySTEM for Representative Learning
Photo of Big Bag of Backyard Science Kits

Uniondale Union Free School District’s Northern Parkway School’s innovative program, The Dreamkeepers, consists of fourth grade scholars who have recently been participating in their academics on the Google platform but are able to experience hands-on learning that encourages them to embark on a transformative and rigorous educational journey. To provide exceptional learning, Northern Parkway partnered with Amazon to provide scholars with STEM kits to help them explore the world around them, engage in inquiry, and get excited about STEM, an area that traditionally under-represents African American and Latino scholars.

“Amidst these difficult times, the district is pleased to see scholars learning from home, while their educators provide them with multiple opportunities to engage in independent discovery in the area of STEM,” said Mrs. Rhonda Taylor, Acting Superintendent of Schools. “What is so special about “The Dreamkeepers” program is that it expands scholars’ education through academic and culturally relevant experiences. The district could not be more impressed with the teachers’ continuous efforts to arouse curiosity, support scholars’ passion for learning, and encourage excellence in academics.”

Northern Parkway educators implemented “The Dreamkeepers” program with guidance and inspiration from the book, Their Highest Potential – An African American School Community in the Segregated South by Dr. Vanessa Siddle Walker and Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings. The authors, through the book’s storytelling, inspires educators to believe their jobs extend well beyond the classroom to teach scholars both academically and socially in an effort to make sure they are highly successful. The “Dreamkeepers” program consists of six innovative classroom teachers and a dedicated administrator, whose provocative nature allows them to utilize a “Whatever It Takes” model of community, accountability, and culturally relevant teaching to attain scholar success.

 

Photo of students wearing masks and holding Microscope Kits

 

Microscope kits were among the donations from Amazon, inspiring scholars to explore STEM.

 

 

 

 

Photo of students wearing masks and holding science kits

 

NPS scholars wore their masks, practiced social distancing, as they picked up their science kits.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of a student holding a Microscope

 

The fourth-grade scholars were excited to receive microscopes, enhancing their exploration in STEM.

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