I am a high school science teacher at Cortland V.R. Creed Health and Sports Science School (previously known as The Hyde School for Health Sciences and Sports Medicine). Our school is a small magnet, made up of approximately 75% New Haven Students, and 25% Magnet students. Our students come from a diverse background, and bring a diverse set of skills to the classroom.
I currently teach junior level Chemistry, in which students learn the principles of chemistry with the intentions of understanding the implications for the greater world. While chemistry offers many opportunities for cross-cutting concepts, students have difficulty integrating different subjects with science and connecting the dots between chemical principles on the minute level, and large scale phenomena. The course spends significant amounts of time focusing on understanding chemical and physical principles, with reflections on connections to daily life.
In addition, students struggle with the quantifications of science, and the curriculum currently has no focus on applying equations, or quantifying scientific data and measurements. Many of the students are college-bound, yet currently have low math scores. Applying math in science can help their critical thinking skills. This is further supported by the new changes in the SAT math and reading sections to have more of a focus on science. In addition, the job market involving the interpretation and analysis of scientific data is ever-growing, and is a great field for our students to enter if given the proper tools to develop their understanding of quantifying scientific data.
This unit aims to cover energy and the transformation of energy in physical and chemical changes. The unit will provide students an opportunity to learn science concepts while also enhancing problem solving skills. Furthermore, this unit will engage students by connecting the topics to community issues, with a culminating project centered on developing a safe air-bag using the skills from this unit.