Young Women's STEAM Academy is a neighborhood school with STEAM expectations. The kids are 80% English language learners and economically disadvantaged. Four years ago the school was changed to girls only and implemented the STEAM emphasis with steady improvements across the board ever since.
I left engineering and the corporate world to teach girls science because so many lose interest in middle school - it is a privilege to watch these girls plan and prepare for early college and magnet schools.
Teaching HS credit Astronomy is challenging in middle school. This Celestial Sphere will provide a hands on view of the stars but more importantly it will allow them to explore the apparent movement of the stars and the relation of stars to locations on earth. Living in the city, most of the students have limited star gazing experience or opportunity so every chance I get to reinforce these concepts is valuable. We use simulations in class but these virtual worlds are limited and do not work for all students. I look forward to letting them explore it on their own and then layering in polar, seasonal zodiac constellations as well as the impact our sun has on visibility.
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