The Center for Integrative Science Learning is about empowering tomorrow’s leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. PBA students and faculty work closely with students at Conniston Community Middle School to help create fun and enlightening activities that can lead them on a fulfilling path toward careers in STEM-related fields.
Part of the Center’s mission is to create classroom learning activities that can be incorporated into the students’ science and math curricula. Such hands-on activities are designed to be engaging and multi-disciplinary so the middle school students begin to understand the many ways different aspects of science and mathematics intersect. The Center initiated 16 multi-disciplinary lab modules in the pilot period alone, and has seen eight other modules developed and approved in collaboration with Conniston’s teachers.
The Center’s team includes PBA faculty expert in:
Students who take part in the Center’s offerings can deepen their learning experience through after-school clubs. The clubs help reinforce STEM concepts the students are learning, and are focused on various themes related to science including forensics, environmental conservation, acoustics and music. Students have gone on field trips to the Lake Worth/Snook Island restoration site, and along with Conniston’s Student Government Body, other clubs have been created including the Physics of Catapults Club and the Civic Engagement and the Advancement of Science Club.
The Center provides professional development initiatives for science and math teachers as a way to ensure Conniston students are getting the most relevant and current instruction. The professional development takes part in two- and three-day sessions through the Center’s Professional Development Institute.
Through school assemblies and community events, the Center helps to infuse enthusiasm and showcase students’ achievements. Multiple all-school assemblies at Conniston have been held focusing on the Center’s activities. And at the school’s annual FCAT Night, where parents also learned more about the Center’s activities and outcomes. PBA student volunteers serve over 500 meals to Conniston students and their parents.
The Center’s programs are expected to reach all 1,100 Conniston Community Middle School students.
Faculty will share the Center’s outcomes with Palm Beach County, and present findings in peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences to help create national best practices standards.