Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School in Groton Creates
New Partnership with Connecticut Science Center
Classroom Programs and Professional Workshops Will Immerse Teachers and Students in Science Education
Groton, CT, December 7, 2021 – Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School (CKMS) in Groton, and the Connecticut Science Center are collaborating on an educational partnership that will immerse both teaching staff and the school’s K-5 students in teaching and learning opportunities connected to the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) theme.
Through the partnership, the Connecticut Science Center will provide engaging and meaningful STEM-focused learning experiences in the classroom through its traveling programs, professional development support for educators, and other enriching experiences for the school community. Both the classroom experiences and professional development align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
CKMS teachers have already been participating in the series of professional development workshops in STEM, which apply to all units of science. According to Ben Moon, CKMS STEAM Specialist and Coordinator, the strategies being learned specifically compliment Groton’s science curriculum and deepen teachers' understanding of what ambitious, effective science instruction looks like.
“Teaching science is more complex than just opening a book and learning facts. While our students need to understand basic scientific principles, they also need to investigate, explore, debate, and problem solve. It’s important that we utilize each student’s innate curiosity to get them excited about exploring scientific phenomena and STEM,” said Christine Dauphinais, Principal of CKMS. “Our partnership with the Connecticut Science Center not only provides our students with engaging STEM experiences, but also provides our teachers with quality professional development that will enhance our STEM instruction this year and beyond.”
“A strong foundation in science and STEM is so important for students these days. Science broadens horizons, inspires students to learn more, and promotes curiosity, and develops the skills and knowledge for our students to be the problem solvers and innovators of the future,” said Ben Moon. “The Connecticut Science Center has been an established leader in Connecticut, working to engage students and families in science and STEM education. We are so excited to partner with them to bring hands-on experiences to our students and help build the capacity of our teachers to be effective science educators.”
“A science-engaged, technology-ready, creative student who can solve problems and innovate is the future of Connecticut,” said Matt Fleury, President and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center. “Working together with schools and educators we can celebrate and accelerate the readiness of students across the state to create and use knowledge for the benefit of themselves, our society, our economy and the world.”
This month, students will begin enjoying unique and engaging STEM based educational lessons delivered by the Science Center’s traveling programs team, which are designed to complement and enrich the science units they’ve been working on in their classrooms.
For example, 5th graders have been studying matter, mixtures, and chemical reactions. Through the Science Center’s A-Chem Mystery program, students will explore chemical reactions in order to 'solve' a bubble-blowing crime. They will perform various tests to determine what chemical was used in the 'crime' and will then attempt to identify the leftover substance through other tests. Students will discover that a chemical reaction occurred and a new substance was created.
Additional classroom programming throughout the year will align with instruction in similar ways and in the future, select grade levels will have an opportunity to visit the Connecticut Science Center at its Hartford location.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing our educational programming back into the classroom with professional development for teachers and hands-on experiences for students. Our mission to inspire learning through interactive and innovative experiences that explore our changing world through science is a natural fit for CKMS, their magnet theme and approach to teaching and learning,” said Megan Ramer, Director of Programs at the Connecticut Science Center. “The Groton/New London community is a tremendous part of the Connecticut STEM ecosystem and we are excited to be a part of that robust environment and engage students in STEM fields, so they are well prepared to be a part of the future workforce.”
About Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School: Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School is part of the Groton Public School district and serves students in grades K-5. CKMS has built a collaborative learning community that promotes high achievement through the integration of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) throughout the curriculum. Through STEAM based experiences, classes, units, and lessons CKMS seeks to develop the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers and provide its students with a foundation in 21st century skills: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. For more information about CKMS visit: www.grotonschools.org/ckms.
About Groton Public Schools K-5 Magnet Elementary Schools: Groton Public Schools, located in Southeastern Connecticut, is home to five themed intra-district magnet elementary schools. Students in grades K-5 who live within the boundaries of Groton Public Schools are eligible to attend their districted magnet school or apply to attend one of the other themed schools. The lottery application for the 2022-2023 school year will be available to families in early February and seats will be awarded through a random lottery conducted in the spring. Families may visit www.grotonschools.org/magnet for more information.
About the Connecticut Science Center: The LEED-Gold certified Connecticut Science Center, located in downtown Hartford, sparks creative imagination and an appreciation for science by immersing visitors in fun and educational hands-on, minds-on interactive experiences while maintaining an environmentally conscious presence. Serving more than 3.25 million people since opening in 2009, the Science Center features more than 165 exhibits in ten galleries and a range of topics, including space and earth sciences, physical sciences, biology, the Connecticut River watershed, alternative energy sources, Connecticut inventors and innovations, a children’s gallery, and much more. Other features include four educational labs, a 200-seat 3D digital theater, a function room, a gift store, and ongoing events for all ages. The Science Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education throughout the state of Connecticut and New England, providing learning opportunities for students and adults of all ages, and engaging the community in scientific exploration. The Connecticut Science Center is also the home of the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Academy for Teachers, offering powerful professional development for educators. More information: CTScienceCenter.org or 860.SCIENCE.