Welcome to the Science Department

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”
– Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

The Irvington Public Schools Science Department will be looking to the stars for the 2018-2019 school year. To support our students in the Advanced Placement courses, the Board of Education had approved new textbooks last year and many AP students were already pursuing their studies during the Summer of 2018 with books in hand and access to teachers through Google Classroom.

The K-8 program continues to be focused on integrating the various science disciplines around complex questions, engaging topics, and phenomenon waiting to be understood. Pearson’s Interactive Science will support our elementary students by providing students, parents, and teachers resources they need to be successful.

The Science Department’s priorities this year will be the implementation of online testing, reflection on and the use of data to inform instruction, and use of available technology to provide students the experience of 1:1 digital environments.

We are delighted to have Ms. Theresa Bennin, Irvington’s Teacher of the Year, as a member of our Science Department at Irvington High School. Her coordination with the American Chemical Society to provide summer internships for students through Project Seed is one of many outstanding contributions she makes day in and day out.

The Science Department will continue its partnership with The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (NJCTL), American Chemical Society (ACS), and Students 2 Science (S2S). Cooperation with private and public entities is vital to helping us develop tomorrow’s 21st Century workforce. Most importantly we are steadfast in our commitment to providing a quality STEM education for ALL of our students.



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

Liberty Science Center image for Community Eventss

SMART: Science, Medicine, and Related Topics

Next Generation Science Standards Parent Q&A Fostering Science Learning to Last a Lifetime

Estándares de Ciencias para la Próxima Generación Preguntas y Respuestas de los PADRES

Science Literacy

Mission and Goals

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.





Our Curriculum

Students and Parents

The Irvington Public School's science program from Pre-K through grade 12 offers students a solid foundation from which to build as they continue their lives following high school. Our world is increasingly dependent upon science and technology and it is of great importance that our students be scientifically literate so they may compete in the global workforce. In 2012, a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology projects a need for approximately one million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology.

For up-to-date information on science events at colleges, science scholarships, and other STEM-related contests and opportunities, Visit the "Colleges & Contests" page.

Kindergarten - Grade 8 Science Program

Science Program CatalogIn 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. The New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science, based on the Next Generation Science Standards, provide a comprehensive, aligned, and developmentally-appropriate approach to learning science. The science program is focused on moving students toward a deeper and richer understanding of scientific concepts and their application by engaging students in authentic, relevant learning experiences.

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 Earth Systems and Space Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Forensic 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. Freshmen students will follow a sequence of courses that begins with Physics or Earth Systems and Space Science. These courses are followed by 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 have the option of taking Forensic Science or AP Environmental Science as an elective. IMPORTANT: All New Jersey Grade 11 students participate in State testing in Science. This test is administered by the New Jersey Department of Education. This comprehensive and integrated Science exam is taken on a digital platform in May of a student’s junior year. To prepare for success on this test, grade eleven 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.





Web Resources

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





Our Philosophy

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.





Staff Directory

Union Avenue Middle School
  • Michelle Tofel – Grade 6
  • Fredy Arevalo – Grades 6, 7
  • Kwesi Sarabo – Grades 6-8
  • Corey Olumbe – Grade 7
  • Njideka Emele – Grades 7, 8
  • Clifford Smith – Grade 8
University Middle School
  • Dr. Sidney Zelin – Grade 6
  • Deoborah Ervin – Grades 6-8
  • Andrew Obssuth – Grade 7
  • Tiffany Baskerville – Grades 7,8
  • Terry Johnson – Grade 8
Irvington High School
  • Christiana Amadi
  • Natalie Amores
  • Theresa Bennin
  • Sarah Conboy
  • Zalak Gandhi
  • Gisha Anie George
  • Adaeze Ihouma
  • Maureen O’Neill
  • Muhammad Rahman
  • Christina Rishiy
  • Erdal Yilmaz