Spiraling Up In Science and Math
Science is our body of knowledge about the universe. Math is the language that describes it in a logical manner. The two go hand in hand, which is why we use a spiral approach to teaching math and science at Geffen Academy that allows students to tackle subject areas of growing complexity as their brains and interests mature.
In a spiral curriculum, material being learned is spread out over time — revisited over months and across grades — instead of being concentrated into an isolated school year. In this way, students are better able to engage with increasingly complex topics in biology, chemistry and physics over the course of each progressive year. The successive spiraling of science subjects also ensures that the mathematically based topics in each subject area are handled by older, more savvy students who are continually honing their math skills. This approach enables a student’s mathematics to develop and expand their work in science — and vice versa.
The Foundation of Science
Our science curriculum will create multiple opportunities for students to confront, experiment and consider scientific subjects, methods and principles.
Possible Subject Areas for Science Electives:
PHARMACOLOGY • OCEANOGRAPHY/MARINE BIOLOGY • NANOTECHNOLOGY • GEOLOGY • METEOROLOGY • ASTRONOMY • FORENSICS • ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE • CHOCOLATE: SCIENCE, HISTORY AND GLOBAL ECONOMICS
“An integrated spiraling curriculum is the most effective way to engage students in a meaningful learning process that both matches their cognitive development and reflects the real world of STEM careers.”
ELIZABETH ASHFORTH, PH.D., Science Department Chair
The Art of Math
The goal of our innovative math curriculum is to ensure Geffen Academy students not only become math-proficient, but realize that math is even more beautiful than it is useful. We’ll ask students to think in terms of questions and concepts rather than formulas and facts. To this end, we’ll spiral our courses by teaching geometry in parallel with algebra, calculus and other math courses from 6th to 12th grade.
Possible Math Electives Include:
PERMUTATIONS, TAXICAB GEOMETRY AND THE 15 PUZZLE • BOOLEAN ALGEBRA AND HYPERCUBES • INTRODUCTION TO GRAPH THEORY • FRACTALS THROUGH PYTHON • MATHEMATICAL INDUCTION, PEANO AXIOMS AND PROPERTIES OF ADDITION
“I became a teacher to share my love for math which is, in my view, the most beautiful of all human activities. Each time I see a student learning a new concept, I feel I am doing something important, something that is changing humanity for the better.”
OLEG GLEIZER, PH.D., Math Department Chair