The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Monday, November 21, 2011


Jai Hale explores the inside of a computer.
Trinity examines a seed under magnification.
We have already had a GREAT year in science studies.
I would like to use this newsletter to share some of those adventures with you.

My goal is to continue to raise the quality of science education at Cambridge School and prepare our students with the tools needed to be assets in the 21st century job market. There are enough unfilled jobs in the sciences to drive down the unemployment rate and provide secure and meaningful jobs for our children. Once more, they don't need to be inventors or ground-breaking chemists. They just need an education that prepares them for the work.
Deja and Khalil experiment with genetics.

So here we are at, what President Obama called, a "Sputnik Moment" where the challenges we face are outstripped by our students preparation to meet them. It is my mission to transform Science from a memorization of facts to the adoption of an attitude (curiosity) and method (Scientific Inquiry).
Solomon employes a luster test to identify a rock sample

In light of that, you will be noticing an evolution in the type of study we'll be doing and the content of our assessments. The last quarter was a transition period of primarily fact learning. In the second quarter, the ability to store facts will become less important and the ability to think critically will come to the forefront.

That means that the flash cards will become less useful and my test and quizzes will become "cram-proof". Either I will be successful in teaching the skill or we will have to approach it again. Memorizing random information on Wednesday only to for get on Thursday will not work in this class. This is a bad habit, that unfortunately, an inferior school system supports.

Tyler dissects a flower to learn about plant reproduction

As always, to the left are some parent resources that I encourage you to explore.

Since I am convinced that the bulk of my parents DO NOT read my newsletters, I am going to do an experiment. I will give 10 pts. extra credit to any student whose parents e-mail me with an answers to these questions:
Why is science an important subject?
What can you do at home to promote science learning?

email your answers to

Look forward to talking with you again.

-- Mr. Raines

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