Fairfield Schools faculty, staff unveil new science curriculum
FAIRFIELD — As soon as next school year, students in grades three to five could be learning computer coding.
The change in curriculum, along with many others, were presented at a recent meeting of the Board of Education, the culmination of two years of work undertaken by teachers, administrators and community members in order to promote “inquiry, real world, problem solving and engagement,” according to Chief Academic Officer Mike Cummings.
“Though our current program is rigorous, aligning our new program to the next generation science standards will have many benefits for our students, including creating better thinkers and problem solvers,” Cummings added.
The revision of science curriculum is the first since the 2006-2007 and was crafted in response to newly adopted statewide science standards in 2015 and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The curriculum will focus on hands on educational experiences that students will be able to transfer across disciplines.
“We want our students to observe and question what is happening around them to stimulate learning,” said Stratfield Elementary School science teacher Amy Francoletti.
A major feature of the new curriculum will be the STEAM initiative for third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders, with the computer coding component, which will being at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
Also beginning next school year, all ninth graders will enter in biology, from which point they will have an increased number of science courses to choose from as they move through high school. Two new courses -- Chemistry of Medicine and Chemistry of Nutrition -- will be added, and the existing year-long earth science course will be broken down into four separate, semester long courses.
“When you give a student choice they tend to be more engaged than if you give them a specific task,” said Patrice Faggella, Fairfield Schools curriculum leader for secondary science and K-12 STEAM.
The board will vote on the curriculum, which requires five votes in favor to be adopted, at its May 8 meeting.
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