Hosting a blood drive is supportive of ASM’s mission, philosophy and sense of who we are as a community. Our most recent blood drive collected 33 units (the goal was 28), which translates to saving up to 99 lives!
Beyond Benign, founded by one of ASM’s families, is a not-for-profit organization “dedicated to providing future and current scientists, educators and citizens with the tools to teach and learn about green chemistry in order to create a sustainable future.” Our middle school students discuss with Beyond Benign scientists the social and environmental impact of green versus traditional chemistry practices as applied to both industry and education. Following their discussions, students utilize green chemistry techniques and the scientific method in Beyond Benign’s labs each year. The labs that students conduct at Beyond Benign closely align with curriculum that is being studied in the classroom.
ASM’s 6th – 8th year students experience authentic lab work at the longest-running, hands-on science lab in the United States, Biogen’s Community Lab! Our students have worked alongside Biogen’s scientists in the field of biotechnology. Students observed a link between algebraic methods used in the classroom and real-world analysis when learning about a neurocognitive disease of the brain. ASM’s deep experiential curriculum is complemented by relationships with community partners such as Biogen, whose mission is to “inspire the next generation of STEM leaders through hands-on learning”.
ASM is a leader among schools in our nation when it comes to computer science instruction. Just eight school districts in Massachusetts have partnered with Code.org since 2013 to incorporate computer programming into their curriculum. ASM’s faculty is trained and teaches coding concepts and skills to our students in Children’s House through Middle School.
Each year, ASM students travel to a wildlife sanctuary to expand their understanding of the natural environment. At Joppa Flats in Newburyport or Ipswich River in Topsfield, students engage in self-directed, informal activities that include problem-solving and constructing their surroundings utilizing natural elements. In the past, Mass Audobon has worked with our middle school students to explore ASM’s natural wetlands in connection with the environmental science curriculum.
ASM receives grants from the MA Cultural Council to support the creative learning of arts, humanities, and sciences. For the past 3 years, the $5,000 STARS (Students and Teachers working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) grant has provided our students with the opportunity to work with Artists in Residence such as Joy Arcolano, founder and artist of Playhouse Education and professor at the Boston Conservatory, Will Chalmus, performance artist and teacher at Brandeis University Theater Arts department, and Tyler Catanella, artist director of Paradise Lost: A Movement Collective. The students’ work focuses on self-expression and culminates in a “share” (performance) each spring.
As part of our strategic plan, ASM partnered with the Museum of Science (MoS). They taught our faculty the engineering design process using their Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) curriculum, which meshes seamlessly with our Montessori philosophy. Engineering is Elementary® is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy® at the Museum of Science, Boston.
In 2017, ASM was been selected by The MoS to pilot their new engineering curriculum for kindergarten students! One of only four schools, ASM will be providing feedback on the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) for Kindergarten curriculum which will be available summer 2018.
Field Trips: Students have traveled into the MoS to participate in the Balance and Motion program and the Ships Ahoy Design Challenge. In return, the MoS has traveled to ASM to engage students in its Starlab (a portable planetarium) and most recently presented Animal Habitats.
Andover Police Department
The safety of our students and staff is of the highest priority. The Andover Police Department introduced ASM faculty and staff to ALICE: Active Shooter Response Training, spoke to Upper Elementary students regarding stranger danger and spoke to Middle School students regarding social media best practices and bullying. Recently, Detective Sergeant Higginbottom met with faculty and staff to review ALICE protocols, coordinate a drill, and provide recommendations for additional safety measures on campus.
ASM has partnered with Parent-to-Parent, an organization in Andover, to develop a speaker series for parents with informative and helpful information. The events are held at schools in Andover and there is no cost to attend.
Andover Public Schools
As a component of Andover Public School’s Essential School Health Services project, our nursing office has received grants that have been used for nursing professional development, substitute nurses and other health-qualified expenses. APS has generously awarded ASM this grant for six years and we are grateful for their partnership.
ASM was selected in 2014 to participate in Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s STEM Integration for Academic Leaders where community partnerships were emphasized as a critical component in developing a comprehensive STEM program. Several ASM staff participated in the yearlong program, resulting in the school-wide STEM strategic plan. Since then, ASM’s entire faculty has been trained in the engineering design process and STEM disciplines. Launched in 2015-2016, ASM offers a rich variety of curriculum for all of our students, Children’s House through Middle School.
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