SCIENCE 2017-06-09T10:54:37+00:00

Welcome to the Science Department

The implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards offers us an opportunity to bring together science and engineering practices in a way that has previously eluded science education. From the understanding of known science concepts we will use this knowledge to identify and solve problems through the application of scientific and engineering practices through authentic labs and investigations. The Grades 6-12 science program will transition to the Next Generation Science Standards and students will notice an immediate change in their science courses. Using a storyline that threads through units of study, students will work through problems and be confronted with questions that can only be answered through research and investigation. Students will engage in problem solving, critical thinking, and data analysis more so than ever before. From Pre-K through Grade 12, science is an integral part of each child’s experience in Irvington Public Schools. We continue to partner with STEM organizations that are also devoted to inspiring young minds such as The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL) and Students 2 Science (S2S) in helping us develop tomorrow’s 21st Century workforce. Irvington High School offers advanced elective courses such as Forensic Science and Advanced Placement courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics ‘1’, and Environmental Science. We congratulate our high school students that are accepted into Project Seed through the American Chemical Society and always make us proud.  Most importantly we are steadfast in our commitment to providing a quality STEM education for ALL of our students.

“Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been… It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~Albert Einstein

You Should Know

For up-to-date information on science events at colleges, science scholarships, and other STEM-related contests and opportunities visit our “Colleges & Contests” page

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The Science Department of the Irvington Public School District is committed to fostering an environment whereby students experience a comprehensive science program that is supportive, engaging, and challenging. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to confidently go forward as productive and scientifically literate members of society. In support of its mission, the Science Department is dedicated to:

  • Developing the knowledge and skill sets necessary for a STEM career and for life-long learning.
  • Promoting instruction that fosters the skills of observation, inquiry, analysis and reflection.
  • Achieving a climate in which students of varying abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to fully participate in the science program.
  • Creating an environment that is conducive for learning through the integration of technology and applying current research to curriculum and instruction.
  • Fostering a learning community comprised of staff and students that promotes learning, respect, honesty, and civility.
  • High student achievement through a rigorous curriculum and high expectations.

Kindergarten – Grade 8 Science Program

14-14_sci_booklet_downloadIn grades K-8, students participate in an integrated science program that exposes students to topics within the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences each year. At the elementary level, our dedicated and creative teaching staff has successfully provided Irvington students with the skills and knowledge they need to pass the NJ ASK4 Science test with over 75% proficiency (district average) for the past seven years. The Progressive Science Initiative serves as the primary resource for students and teachers. This innovative, technology-driven course sequence from the New Jersey Center For Teaching & Learning offers students greater opportunity to participate in science because of the social constructivist approach that fosters peer interactions under the guidance of the teacher. Teachers benefit from being a part of a broad professional learning network in which resource and professional development are on-going. Students benefit from having broad access to resources, smooth transitions between grade levels, a rigorous curriculum, and research-based practices that will help them construct knowledge for greater understanding and retention. For more information on this program, visit www.njctl.org.

The K-8 program Is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These new, national set of standards for science was adopted for implementation In New Jersey In July 2014. The standards focus on moving students toward a deeper and richer understanding of scientific concepts and their application. The NGSS focus on fewer topics and are aligned K-12 to offer a comprehensive, aligned, and developmentally-appropriate approach to learning science

High School Science Program

At the high school, several laboratory/Inquiry-based courses are offered depending on previous student performance and interest. Courses available include Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Forensic Science and Earth & Physical Science. Honors designations are offered in most of these courses in addition to AP Physics 1, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Environmental Science for students electing to enroll In advanced science courses. The methodology behind the Progressive Science Initiative (PSI) continues into high school. Most students will follow a sequence of courses that begins with physics. Following physics, students will enroll in chemistry and then biology. Advanced Placement (AP) courses in physics, chemistry, and biology are available to students following the successful completion of the pre-requisite course(s). Senior students also have the option of taking Forensic Science as an elective.

IMPORTANT: All New Jersey students, REGARDLESS OF GRADE LEVEL, enrolled in a Biology course must take the BCT.

To prepare for success on this test, Biology students must prepare the entire year. Teachers are carrying out instruction with the purpose of making certain their students have the knowledge and skills necessary to be proficient and successful.

High School Graduation requirements mandate that students take at least 15 credits of science including laboratory biology; chemistry, environmental science, or physics; and an additional laboratory/inquiry-based science.

Next Generation Science Standards Parent Q&A
A parent’s guide from the National Science Teachers Association. Click here to view

New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning

The primary resource used in courses K-12 – http://www.njctl.org

NJ ASK4; NJ ASK8; Biology Competency Test:

For Information regarding state examinations in science visit https://www.measinc.com/nj/default.aspx

Students 2 Science:
Field trip destination and provider of Virtual lab (V-lab) experiences for students. The mission of S2S is to inspire students to pursue STEM careers, increase their aptitude in science, and expose them to the laboratory skills and technology that are used in today’s high-tech laboratories. Visit their homepage at http://www.students2science.org or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Students-2-Science

Africam – remote streaming video from locations in Africa showing wildlife in natural surroundings – www.africam.com

American Museum of Natural History – www.amnh.org

Animal Genome Size Database – comprehensive catalog of animal genome size data – www.genomesize.com

The Center for Innovation In Engineering and Science Education – inter-disciplinary, technology-based projects using real-time data hosted by Stevens Institute of Technology- www.ciese.org

Discovery Education – host for teacher STEM resources – www.discoveryeducation.com

Earth Day Network – lesson plans, school greening ideas, and grants – www.earthday.org/education

Environmental Science – online resources for the Pearson textbook http://www.myenvironmentalscience.com

National Geographic – print-rich, reliable site for accessing information on animals and the environment – www.nationalgeographic.com

National Geographic for Kids – portal for accessing kid-friendly science videos and information – www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids

National Oceanographic Data Center – national environmental data centers operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – www.nodc.noaa.gov

PBS – Public Service Broadcasting website offering teacher resources by grade span – www.pbs.org/teachers

We Believe that our students are unique individuals, each capable of achieving greatness. That we will guide, challenge and support our students to one day become scientifically literate citizens. That we will Inspire our students to pursue careers in STEM and become life-long learners. That our students will become effective problem solvers and capable of learning independently. That we will guide students to construct their own knowledge and use it in authentic situations.

We Believe scientific literacy will only be achieved through a carefully planned educational program from Pre-K through grade 12 and beyond. That providing a quality science education requires many stakeholders to share responsibility, collaborate, and act with good judgment and ethical intentions. That technology is a tool that offers innumerable possibilities for teaching and learning. That professional development will be used to maintain a quality instructional program and be adapted to changing needs.

We Believe that science involves the study and exploration of the natural and designed world. The Supernatural and subjective opinions have no place in the formation of scientific knowledge. That science begins with observation and inquiry and proceeds through experimentation, analysis and reflection. Science is constantly changing, producing more questions than answers. That a scientific mind is skeptical and accepts that nothing is infallible or forever.

We Believe that we must uphold the highest professional standards as science educators. That we must take responsibility for and promote our own professional learning and growth. That we must advocate for the resources needed to provide a quality science education. That we will be sensitive to the unique learning needs of our students and that we will hold high expectations for their achievement. That we will guide our students to understanding and proficiency. That we will encourage their curiosity and rectify their misconceptions.

We Believe that to achieve scientific literacy one must be observant and curious enough to ask questions and inquisitive enough to seek answers to those questions. That conclusions are supported by scientifically-derived evidence. That scientific laws and theories can be explained thoroughly and applied to authentic situations. That information is evaluated before being accepted.

Union Avenue Middle School

Michelle Tofel – Grades 6,7
Leah Thornton – Grades 6,7
Kwesi Sarabo – Grades 6-8
Corey Olumbe – Grade 7
Clifford Smith – Grades 7, 8
Njideka Emele – Grades 7, 8

University Middle School

Dr. Sidney Zelin – Grade 6
Deoborah Ervin – Grades 6-8
Michael Guernsey – Grade 7
Terry Johnson – Grade 8
Andrew Obssuth – Grades 7, 8

Irvington High School

Christiana Amadi
Natalie Amores
Theresa Bennin
Gale Bohnarczyk
Dr. Pierette Charles
Erin Bontempo
Gisha Anie George
Ariusz Kornacki
Randall Post
Muhammad Rahman
Christina Rishiy
Ezzard Wilson