Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Physical Science: Session 6

Monique Brinson; Jamaica Plain, MA

Monique Brinson

“Science was a subject area that I greatly enjoyed as a youngster and I want to open the door to the joy of scientific inquiry and processes for my students as well.”

School at a Glance:
Young Achievers Science & Mathematics Pilot School
Jamaica Plain, MA

  • Grades: Pre K-8
  • Enrollment: 301
  • Students per Teacher: 20
  • Ethnicity:
    62% African American
    22% Hispanic
    13% White
    2% Asian
  • Percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch: 63% versus a state average of 30%

From its inception in 1995, the Young Achievers Science & Mathematics Pilot School (YASM) in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, envisioned a math and science emphasis for urban children in Boston. Its mission statement reflects the school’s belief “that every student can learn algebra and understand the concepts of biology, can plot the course of a beam of light, and come to grips with the vastness of the stars.” The scope of the science program at YASM includes teaching three to four units in life, Earth, physical, and technological science during the course of the school year.

Monique Brinson was a founding teacher of the YASM pilot school, and she has worked in the Boston Public Schools system for 11 years. For the past nine, she has taught science using units from National Science Resource Center’s (NSRC) Science and Technology for Children and the Education Devleopment Center’s (EDC) Insights kits, She augments each unit with learning centers and hands-on activities, as well as texts to support learning. “My first year of teaching at a traditional Boston public school, I was not required to teach science. Although it was not a requirement, I worked directly with the science-only teacher to develop activities that supported the themes and concepts I was teaching my students... Science was a subject that I greatly enjoyed as a youngster and I wanted to make sure I opened the doors to the joy of scientific inquiry and understanding for my students as well.”

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