Integrated Science Symposium

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Daniel Dai

NEXT GEN IN THE DEN: The new standards focus on interdisciplinary life skills in order to better help prepare students for the real world.

Varun Vishnubhotla, Staff Writer

Northwood’s first Science Symposium, an event centered around educating Northwood parents and students on the Integrated Science curriculum, was held in the Northwood theater on Nov. 14.

A large number of parents attended the seminar to listen to principal Leslie Roach and many of Northwood’s science teachers communicate the importance of being scientifically literate, the theme of the night.

The event’s main mission was to place parents in a classroom setting to demonstrate the tangible applications of the Integrated Sciences, which were reinforced throughout the night.

Each activity advised the application of concepts to problems, such as the Sequoia tree probe, which solved for the origin of a tree’s mass, in order to practice critical thinking skills that are crucial in the real world.

“Students should have a thorough science understanding, and it would be a disservice to repeal these standards since knowledge of all sciences provides the solutions to the world’s problems,” science teacher David Monge said.

Integrated Science has redefined science literacy as the ability to apply multiple disciplines to problems today, echoed in the recently implemented Integrated Science 3, which has faced controversy in the community. This event was planned to further the message through both classroom activities and student testimonials, including those of alumni.

However, during the seminar, a few community members openly challenged the validity of the Integrated Science curriculum. Many parents were under the impression that there would be a question and answer session following the panel, which was never stated on the Northwood website or the Science Symposium flyers.

“When I spoke with the group in a face-to-face setting, there were generalized issues that did not match with our students’ testimonials,” Roach said. “As a result, I have welcomed parents to schedule meetings with me regarding individuals’ concerns with the program.”

Echoing Roach’s comments, the panel of teachers advised students to reach out to their teachers for help and for further clarification on the research and reasoning behind Northwood’s integrated sciences. Despite the ongoing controversy, this event provided a glimpse of a daily Northwood science classroom.

“Attending events like these help students familiarize themselves with certain classes,” senior Miya Grant said. “Many events, like this, are held, but students don’t utilize the opportunities to learn more about programs like our Integrated Sciences.”