WEST ORANGE, NJ – With the importance of engineering coming to the fore in the 21st century high-tech world, the West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) is leading an initiative to rethink how elementary science is taught in township schools. At the June 12 WOBOE meeting at West Orange High School, Stephanie Suriano, supervisor of science K-12, presented the key elements of the Elementary Science Program that includes putting more emphasis on engineering concepts.

Suriano said that the plan, created by educators throughout West Orange, will put the township’s public schools in compliance with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“The new science curriculum will put more emphasis on students defining problems and designing solutions. The engineering dimension will have a greater focus,” said Suriano. “Students will be encouraged to ask questions that may have multiple valid answers. Lecturing the students will be minimized. Students will be presented with scientific phenomena, and will be asked to argue evidence and communicate science ideas in a collaborative manner.”

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Suriano said that a textbook will be used that puts scientific phenomena first.

“The teacher will function as a facilitator instead of the expert in the room,” she said. “Lessons will be student centered. The students will really be engaged, and enjoy what they are learning.”

WOBOE President Sandra Mordecai said she likes that this new curriculum puts an emphasis on teaching science for 21st-century careers.

“I am glad to see that engineering is an important part of the curriculum,” she said.  

Pictured above:

Gregory Elementary School students are joined by school staff after showing off their physical education prowess to people who attended the board meeting. 

The WOHS Boys Tennis team is recognized by the board for its outstanding season this year. 

Andrew diPalma, WOHS Lacrosse, broke all time LAX scoring record Total Points 197; 124 Goals; 73 Assists. Pictured (left to right) are Athletic Director Ron Bligh, BOE President Sandra Mordecai, WOHS Senior Andrew diPalma, Superintendent Jeffrey Rutzky.

WOHS wrestler Victor Lopez is recognized for his 136 school wins. He is joined by, from left, AD Ron Bligh, Sandra Mordecai, Ron Charles and Superintendent Rutzky. 

Members of the Air Force Jr. ROTC program at WOHS are honored for their 2000 hours of community service. 

Read more about this meeting, where the WOBOE announced that the traffic light on Alisa Drive is proceeding, by clicking HERE.