Falls Church City

Citizen Science As Contexts to Teach High School Biology

Categories: Falls Church City | 2017

Students at George Mason High School (Falls Church, VA) raise brook trout for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, monitor two local streams for E. coli for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, remove invasive plant species on the Appalachian Trail for the US National Park Service, and examine the effectiveness of using radishes to relieve urban soil compaction for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. These projects permit students to learn science by doing science, not only for themselves, but for the benefit of natural resource personnel. Work they perform help VA natural resource staff manage the commonwealth's natural resources. The experiences provide meaningful contexts to help meet Virginia's SOLs in Biology and a MWEE. 

Contact

Dr. Peter M. Mecca
Biology Teacher
meccap@fccps.org
7032095500


Falls Church City Public Schools: International Baccalaureate k-12

Categories: Falls Church City | 2017

Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS)  is proud to be the first K-12 International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Division in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This achievement is the result of years of preparation on the part of school employees, community members and students.  FCCPS is able to  provide a continuum of education as every student incorporates the IB learner profile, which describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. The IB provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. It emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders. 

Contact

Jeanne Seabridge
Director of Teaching, Learning, and Achievement
seabridgej@fccps.org
7032485636


Using Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math (STEAM) As Contexts to Teach High Scho

Categories: Falls Church City | 2017

In Spring 2016, George Mason High School students in Falls Church, VA started growing lettuce hydroponically -- in water instead of soil -- and created a self-filtering aquaculture system to raise tilapia. Their goal: to serve fresh greens and fish in the school cafeteria. Working with the high school's food service manager, two science teachers, with support from the community and VSU, helped students install one NFT hydroponics unit and one aquaculture unit at the high school. High school students later assisted middle school students with the construction of two additional NFT units at the middle school. Preparations are now underway to breed tilapia for consumption during the 2017-2018 School Year. To date, over 66 pounds of fresh lettuce has been served in the school cafeteria. In addition to an application of content knowledge, language arts, communication skills, and STEAM skills, evidence of student success can be observed through numerous speaker engagements at garden clubs, the Kojo Nnamdi Show (PBS), 4-H Groups, and local teachers. Their efforts gained Mason High School a GreenSchools Education Innovation Award last year. 

Contact

Dr. Peter M. Mecca
Biology Teacher, Co-PI
meccap@fccps.org
7032095500