What Makes Moriarty Different?
What is Environmental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Sciences Themed Curriculum?
The Environmental STEM Sciences Magnet theme is integrated through all core subject areas. Integrated Units are developed collaboratively with teachers and use Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, Environmental Literacy Strands and Moriarty’s Magnet Standards. Students investigate environmental STEM science unit essential questions that extend across math, reading, writing, science, social studies, art, and music. For example, in fourth grade students investigate the essential question, “What is the relationship between environmental issues and interdependency? What is the relationship between environmental issues and ecosystems?”
- Math- students calculate carbon footprints and record data as they determine ways to reduce them.
- Reading- students experience the research process, reading and synthesizing primary and secondary source information to investigate the relationship between environmental issues, interdependency and ecosystems in the Costa Rican Forests and local deciduous forests.
- Writing- students produce an informative piece addressing their findings from their research in reading and science.
- Science- students participate in inquiry based activities, utilize a research notebook to plan, gather, synthesize, and share their findings on the relationship between environmental issues, interdependency and ecosystems in the Costa Rican Forests and local deciduous forests.
- Music- students recycle an item from home by turning it into a percussion instrument that they use in a drum circle. This drum circle uses music to examine the interdependency between individuals, their instruments, and the music created.
- Technology- students use a web camera to chat with Costa Rican farmers and the internet to learn about Costa Rican deforestation effects. They will also observe the ecosystems in the Costa Rican Rainforests through the web camera and local deciduous forests to compare and contrast interdependency within each ecosystem.
What is an outdoor classroom?
Simple, it’s real world learning that takes place outside. Students’ daily lessons utilize our outdoor classroom, which consists of a meadow, community garden, large grass field, playground, blacktop, butterfly garden, outdoor pavilion, deciduous forest and local reservoir.
What is offered with the Environmental STEM Theme afterschool?
Students are also able to deepen their knowledge of the environmental STEM theme through the school's extensive after school offerings including: Earth Club, Earth Club Jr., New England Science and Sailing Fisheries Program, Dennison Pequotsepos Nature Center Animals Program, LEGO Invention, Connecticut Invention Convention and Garden Club.
What leadership opportunities are provided?
Many rooms have class “pets” students learn to care for. Older students take on leadership roles in many ways: Earth Club members work with community partners to help “green our school”; LEAD students are partnered with a staff member who has weekly tasks for them to do; Lunch Recyclers help younger students in the lunch line sort trash, recyclables and compost.
What are impact projects?
Every year students in each grade level investigate an environmental issue or concept in depth and develop an impact project. These projects are designed to create a positive impact on our environment. At the lower grades it is often class wide but as students mature they work in teams and this experience culminates with individual fifth grade capstone projects. These impact projects include: our kindergarten’s schoolyard study of birds, which resulted in the purchase of a bird bath to increase birds’ access to water; first grade’s study of monarchs, which led to the creation of the first stage of a meadow in our schoolyard for monarchs migration; our fourth graders study our school’s carbon footprint in order to develop a plan to offset our carbon emissions; and fifth graders stenciling storm drains in the community to decrease pollutants in our water.