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We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and go away,
but there will always be science, engineering, and technology.
And there will always, always be mathematics.
— Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician
At Holy Spirit, we use the Amplify Science curriculum which is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Amplify Science blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers.
For middle school Math, we're utilizing Amplify, which has partnered with Desmos Classroom to create the most engaging Illustrative Mathematics lessons available. We leverage multiple modalities to create a learning environment that is effective, thought provoking and connects math concepts to everyday life.
Holy Spirit Parish School offers a rich tradition focused on student experience outside the classroom. Experiential field trips occur in every grade; however, our middle school students participate in a progressive series of California watershed explorations.
In 6th grade our students explore the Marin Headlands area with Naturebridge. They spend three nights at the Naturebridge campus in the Golden Gate National Monument discovering that the water that passes through Sacramento makes its way to the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. At this watershed stop, they develop a sense of themselves as responsible actors in the California biome and see themselves as potential problem solvers. They return home transformed by their new sense of independence and responsibility.
The following year our 7th grade students make their way to Westminster Woods located on Dutch Bill Creek, a tributary of the Russian River. Here they find themselves in the middle of a watershed that provides resources for some of California’s great redwood forest. This late winter trip is focused on team challenges, personal responsibility and class bonding. Students are finding themselves as young adults and the opportunity to focus on their interpersonal relationships while recognizing the problem solving capacities of their peers gives them a deeper appreciation of the myriad talents that make up a productive responsible Christian.
The California watershed focus has been a tradition at Holy Spirit Parish School for over 18 years. The locations have changed on occasion but the purpose and outcomes have remained true. Our students can recognize their potential as lifelong learners on these trips and realize their value as stewards of the Earth.