Tuesday, May 10, 2016

STEAM TODAY but save the Art for Tomorrow!

While the focus yesterday in New York was on Judiac studies, Jewish heritage, and Jewish history, the focus today shifted towards the general studies side of the Kadima curriculum. As a school dedicated to the on going learning benefits of STEAM curriculum, we ensured that the math, engineering, and science components of STEAM were  addressed today.

Our day begin with a tour of the upper west side and Central Park. We learned of the importance of green space within the urban environment and the need for recreational space. We visited Strawberry Fields – a dedicated space created in honor of John Lennon by his wife Yoko Ono. At the "Imagine" Mosaic, students sang Beatles songs and enjoyed learning the history of that side of Central Park. 

Central Park was followed by a driving tour of Harlem and other areas north. Students learned the importance of the Apollo theater for African-American culture, and visited the outside of the theater.  We learned today that jazz musicians used to refer to the cities they played in as apples. When a musician booked a job in New York, they were fortunate enough to be working in the "big apple" as New York was the biggest city of them all! 

After stretching our legs on the upper West side, we very fortunate to visit a unique museum – the National Museum of Mathematics. At this museum, students worked in small groups in interactive and hands on learning spaces designed especially for children in their developmental range. Exhibits dealt with a range of mathematical topics, including speed and velocity where the children were able to design Galileo tracks, motion, geometric shapes, and other logic-based games. Their level of engagement and excitement in this space is indicative of the really strong math department at Kadima! Thank you Ms. Levant and Mrs. Garnick for bringing math to life for the students. 

For the afternoon, we headed to the Natural History Museum. We started the visit in the planetarium area of the museum, including a planetarium show. After the show, students had an hour to explore the rest of the vast museum. To ensure learning opportunities while having fun, we created a photographic scavenger hunt! 

Students were asked the following (and they came through!) 

1. Find the location of armor in the museum. Take a picture in front of armor displays of your choice with your group. 

2. Find the large great whale and  photograph it. 

3.   Find a display of an extinct animal of your choice. Take a group photograph in front of that creature. 

4. Last one! Find an exhibit of your choice different from each of the three previously mentioned in the game. Take a picture of your group in front of the exhibit. 

5. List one thing you learned in the planetarium show. 

5. Bonus question:  Find one artifact from the movie Night of the Museum, take a picture of your group in front of the artifact. 

As we headed into the evening, we enjoyed an elegant pre-theatre dinner in an elegant restaurant and then enjoyed a showing of Matilda at the Shubert Theatre. Our evening wrapped up with a late night New York Pizza snack before heading to bed!  

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