One of Avicenna Academy’s foci addressed in our vision statement is that we work to prepare our students to enter the next phase of their education as citizens possessing a complement of academic skills: linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, physical and social.
We feel very strongly that our participation in SSEP has provided support for five of these six categories.
Linguistic: Student work was discussed with teammates and parent/teacher facilitators. In addition, all work submitted including the notices of intent and proposals were written by students. The standard experimental design proposal format was followed, introducing the students to new expectations and formats for writing. The ability to communicate effectively has been emphasized by SSEP.
Mathematical: Through SSEP and the research necessary to create their experimental design proposals, students were exposed to advanced statistics, were asked to perform a number of unit of measurement conversions, and learned how to decipher a variety of graphs.
Scientific: Our students were immersed in the scientific method through the experimental design component of this program. Various issues pertaining to a myriad of scientific topics were investigated, manipulated in the lab, discussed and eventually turned in to experimental design proposals. Critical thinking was a necessary component of the scientific inquiry that took place, thereby laying the foundation for problem-solving skills to be established or, as is the case with our older students, fine-tuned.
Technological: Through research and investigation, our students were able to utilize and learn about a number of scientific tools necessary to carry out their projects. In addition to laboratory technology, students have been increasingly exposed to communication technology, intended for educational and professional use.
Social: Due to the collaborative nature of this program, our students have had the ability to develop and improve upon existing social skills. Specifically our students worked in small groups within each institution and then collaborated with students within our SSEP scientific community outside of our respective institutions’ walls. Furthermore, students have reached out to professional scientists, specialists in their field, to discuss their ideas while simultaneously working with parent and teacher liason, who served to hold the students accountable for their work.
Ultimately, SSEP has served to lend support and provide enrichment for skills that we have already established as being necessary for success in today and tomorrow’s world.