On Thursday, March 7th, a team of Harvard staff and graduate students from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) arrived at the James Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain to go back to 5th grade.
They were there for an orientation to the current 5th grade science curriculum to prepare for a new 8 week in-school program where SEAS staff will assist all 5th graders in learning about levers and pulleys, including the development of their own science projects. The March orientation was led by Ms. Vikki Kent, the BPS science specialist at the Hennigan. Ms. Kent shared specific ways that the Harvard team, led by the SEAS Outreach Specialist Kate Wooley-Brown, could assist students to successfully tackle the written portion of the science MCAS. Fifth-grade students need to demonstrate an ability to write a claim, evidence, and the reasoning related to a science problem; this is especially difficult when you consider that more than 50% of the Hennigan students are English Language Learners. The SEAS staff began in the classrooms on March 14th. On Saturday, June 15th, all 5th grade students at the Hennigan School and their families will come to Harvard to showcase their science projects. The new program is the latest effort connecting Harvard teaching and learning with the Hennigan, one of Harvard’s BPS partner schools.