BOE Jan. 30: Third Graders Show Off STEM Skills


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F.N. Brown third grade
F.N. Brown third graders with the simple device they built to explore the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
The Verona Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 30, and kicked off the meeting with a presentation on the hands-on science work that is being done by third graders at F.N. Brown.

Verona has been ramping up its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, emphasizing inquiry-based science at all grade levels. In that approach, students brainstorm a problem, attempt a solution and assess how well their solution fared, trying again if necessary. The unit demonstrated by the students–Maren McCabe, Annalise Kearns, Chloe Wynne, Drew Krusznis, Cecilia Manis and Trevor Giarrusso– was called “Motion and Design”. The third graders are taught by Anthony Chierici, who focuses on science, and Megan Pellegrino, who focuses on social studies. Chierici is new to Verona with the 2017-2018 school year. The students and their teachers were introduced by Dr. Anthony Lanzo, the principal of F.N. Brown.

The unit’s goal was to help students understand how balanced and unbalanced forces affect the motion of an object. To that end, they built a wheeled device out of K’Nex that had to carry a load a precise distance. How well did they do? Watch the video below to find out.

In other business, the BOE approved the latest grants from the Verona Foundation for Educational Excellence (VFEE), one of which to enable students at H.B. Whitehorne to produce equipment for the sensory rooms at the middle school and Laning Avenue. The students developed the equipment during a “Shark Tank”-style competition in December. Superintendent Dr. Rui Dionisio noted that the Strategic Plan Steering Committee was to hold its third meeting on creating the mission statement for Verona’s next five-year plan. Dionisio said that the district will be inviting participation on the Strategic Plan’s Action Teams soon.

You can read the full agenda here.

The BOE’s website contains information on meeting dates, agendas and resolutions, Board policies, and videos of BOE meetings going back to the 2011-2012 school year. The next BOE meeting will be Tuesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. in the Learning Commons at VHS, and it is open to the public.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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