Dan Hoffman: A Look Inside our High School Classes

Director's Update

During my time at STEM one of the things that sticks out to me the most is the passion, dedication and resolve of our students and staff. Both groups of stakeholders work in synergy together to build a culture of high expectations and high support. This year’s High School faculty team is brimming with talent, care, compassion and teaching prowess. New instructors are bringing a fresh perspective to teaching that is pairing powerfully with the local wisdom embedded in our veteran staff members. Meanwhile, our students are demonstrating their determination and grit.

In veteran teacher Mr. Lacarubba’s physics class, Students have been looking into objects being affected by multiple forces at the same time.  By looking at the motion of a weight that’s being affected by both gravity and a person lifting it, they can discuss how much force that person exerts. Dr. Clapp, Mr. Gillett, myself, Ms. Walbek, and Mr. Wasserman provided data that let students do a cross-curricular lab looking at Newton’s Laws, biomechanics and physical education.

Meanwhile in Mr Guggenheim’s World Literature classes, students are exploring the question “What makes us human? How do governments, cultures, and institutions shape what makes us human?” They are reading Persepolis, a graphic novel, and exploring that question for the author of the novel and for themselves. Students will then create both an artifact and a persuasive essay that can be presented as a museum exhibit on a website and shared with an audience. 

On the student front, student leaders are actively collecting feedback from their classmates to see how Student Government can best build culture during the pandemic. They are also working to gather feedback about how our school system is functioning as a whole so they can partner with our Leadership Team to improve their educational experience online and in person. 

In normal years, the magic STEM students and staff bring to the school is truly the engine that helps us run. And, now in the midst of COVID-19, they are working even harder to keep us going!

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