Saturday, May 24, 2014

Whittier students figure out how to keep things clean and excel at science

Students at Whittier School; alternative, special education K-12, are benefiting from the incorporation of all components of the district’s 20/20 Vision: achievement, neighborhood, parents, effective teachers, district leadership, and community.
Teacher Tim Schamp discusses display with student.
Whittier teachers Melanie Mastin and Tim Schamp have created a way for high school students to apply skills learned in science class through campus jobs and school businesses. All teachers develop units of study based on standards given a “no worksheet challenge.”

When connecting units of study with high-level standards, such as biology and earth science, science projects and campus jobs produce a high level of performance that transfers to authentic, real world experiences. The application of these skills is tied closely to Common Core State Standards.

The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle unit in science class prompted Schamp’s transition skills class to study the impact of paper towels used at Whittier School for custodial use for the Going Green Fair.
Results from this project led to the creation of the Whittier Towel Service. This campus job provides cloth towels to offices and classrooms throughout the campus.

Another example of student performance aligned with high level standards is the yearly Whittier School Science Fair. For the past four years, Whittier School student science projects have placed at the district wide Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair held at Balboa Park. On March 25, Alex Latimar-Galvan received a second place ribbon for his science fair project about magnets.

Mastin and Schamp continue working together to create additional science based campus jobs and student businesses. Currently a science unit on water conservation and xeroscape gardening will lead to creating a rain water harvesting system which will provide water to drought tolerant school gardens.
For more information about Whittier School please contact Janice Von Arx, principal, 858 490-2770 or jvonarx@sandinet.