What does science education in the 21st century look like? At Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, teachers and students are teaming up with families and members of the scientific community to build a science program that nurtures a generation of citizens capable of, confident about, and committed to making contributions to the world around them. Whether you are a family member, a student, a scientist, or simply a supporter of science education, we believe that there is a role for you in our effort to create the spaces for learning that our students deserve.
CORE BELIEFS About Science TEACHING & LEARNING Inquiry into the natural world forms the foundation of science; our classrooms should be grounded in observation, exploration, and experimentation – not just the terms and abstractions that often constitute traditional science curricula. Data is ubiquitous and is the language of science; students should learn to collect, organize, and analyze data to make sense of the world around them and advance logical arguments. Writing is a central component of teaching and learning science and of the scientific endeavor; students should learn to read, write, and communicate like scientists and critical thinkers using traditional and emerging technologies.
Creativity resides in all children; our classrooms must be spaces for each student to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways, strengthen a sense of self, and offer solutions to global challenges framed as problem-based learning activities. Collaboration drives and defines our globalized world; students should use technology to facilitate communication, engage with science as it affects society, and learn directly from professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math. The world beyond the classroom is connected; our courses should reflect the connectedness of the natural world and all science disciplines, engage with the organizing principles scientists use to make sense of the natural world, and tap into community resources and the lived experiences of students and families.
SCIENCE 5501 Cedar Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Students graduating from Boys’ Latin must earn at least four core science credits (excluding electives). Three of the four credits must be from Biology and Chemistry I, Biology and Chemistry II, and Physics. Students interested in majoring in science in college are encouraged to pursue more than four credits. Core Courses Biology and Chemistry I Biology and Chemistry II Anatomy and Physiology AP Environmental Science Physics Elective Courses Advanced Chemistry Topics Neuroscience Robotics and Engineering Science of Health and Wellness
The Franklin Institute and the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania shaped a new neuroscience elective in 2012-2013 for Boys’ Latin students. Biology and Chemistry II teachers partner with Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania researchers to implement problem-based learning units that focus on science at the nanoscale. Teachers also meet a professional learning community (PLC) to co-plan, observe, and debrief lessons. Since spring 2012, our teachers have secured two, $1000 Dow Classroom Innovation grants from the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition to strengthen a unit on biodiversity and to build a generator using a bicycle.
Students conduct their own research in the form of independent science investigations. They then present their research at the Science Symposium and compete in the Carver Science Fair and science fairs sponsored by the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Each month, a guest speaker visits campus to talk about his or her science research as part of the Boys’ Latin Science Speaker Series. Past speakers spoke about their research in veterinary medicine, computer programming, forensic science, quantum physics, microbiology, fluid physics, and cybersecurity. The Science Excursions program at Boys' Latin provides students with learning experiences in the community and in science laboratories. Students have measured water quality, toured a pharmaceutical company, and visited robotics laboratories. Students secure internships during the summer and school year. Students have been accepted to programs at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, The Franklin Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, University of Maryland, Haverford College, and Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Mentors. The Boys’ Latin junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is a rewarding and exciting opportunity for students interested in engineering and science. The chapter connects students with opportunities to participate in math competitions, the US FIRST Tech Challenge, engineering challenges, workshops at local universities, the Philadelphia Sea Perch robotics competition, regional and national conferences, the Department of Energy’s Science Bowl, SAT preparation, computer programming as part of the Code CREW, and Science Olympiad. In the summer of 2013, rising sophomores and juniors are participating in a Science Summer Reading program focused on The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The text will drive discussions at the start of the school year. Visit http://science.boyslatin.org to learn more.
"...Education is the path to justice, justice for every man, woman and child. Education is the path to power, the power to change the world..." —from Boys' Latin student pledge