CityScience News

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Meet Our Newest Partner: New Design Middle School

In 2011, New Design Middle School (NDMS) was founded to provide a place where students in the surrounding low-income neighborhood could build strong relationships with learning and success. That same year, CityScience chose NDMS as a partner, and we are happy to announce that our partnership with Principal Francesca Pisa and her team of talented and determined teachers will continue this year. We hope to further support their mission to help their students keep an eye on the future, become more effective readers and communicators, and feel empowered to design their schools, neighborhood, and city with the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom.

“NDMS is a school that is located in West Harlem, and we really focus on teaching the whole student,” said Sam D’Angelo, a second-year teaching fellow at NDMS. “Many of our students view the school as a safe place that is consistent in their lives. I often have students who have never had a true science class before sixth grade but are the most eager and excited students to learn.”

It is our goal to help the teachers of NDMS foster this eagerness and excitement in students by providing additional support and resources. But what sets CityScience apart is that we focus solely on the needs of each teacher. We ask each of them what they require to become a better teacher and then spend the year helping them to achieve their individual goals.

“Working with CityScience allows me to have an unbiased view of my teaching,” said Sam, who worked with a CityScience coach last year. “I was really able to benefit from the wisdom from an experienced science teacher who has tips of the trade to help me out. I hope to continue to work closely with the staff to help improve my teaching techniques so that I am able to enhance my students’ learning.”

Teacher Mark Lee worked in law enforcement for 24 years before joining NDMS two years ago. His goal is to gain the skills necessary to help his students “become engaged in their own scientific explorations.”

“My dream is that students will learn to frame their thinking about life in evidence-based paradigms,” said Mark. “My students live in a world in which rumors have real consequences, and feelings sometimes matter more than reason. I’d like to teach them to become constructive skeptics.”

Seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher Sal Campos is new to NDMS, having joined the team this past September, but he is well-acquainted with the environment in which his students are living. As a child, he experienced poverty and homelessness, and his journey to becoming a science teacher has been particularly difficult. Through working with CityScience, Sal hopes to learn how to incorporate more activities into his classroom and use the city as a place for scientific investigation and inquiry.

“I just want to be able to give students experiences that would get their attention through the wonder of science,” said Sal. “I would like to bring projects, activities, and presentations to the class that grab students’ attention. I want students to see the magic in the reality of science.”

We’ll make sure to keep you updated on Sam, Mark, and Sal’s progress as they strive to meet their goals over the course of this school year. If you would like to read more about CityScience’s partnership program, please click here. If you want to learn how you can help us support our partners, please click here.

(Photo Credit: New Design Middle School)

Published in What's HappeningGeneral News • Published on November 10, 2015

I can say I know how to read a map better than all my friends. Randa D. 15