July 18, 2024
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RYNJ Students Set Their Sights on Space

RYNJ kicked off its Second Annual Satellite Project as part of a new Space Science Unit in fifth grade. Rabbi Efrayim Clair and Rabbi Dov Hochbaum, the school’s educational technologists, worked together with Mrs. Penina Richman, RYNJ’s science coordinator, to craft a three-station program in which children learned about satellites. In doing so, the children also navigated the topic of how a GPS systems work. One station used compasses to replicate GPS triangulation. This session helped students understand how a GPS system can locate where a person is on a map in real time. Another station allowed children to build a working satellite dish to observe how signals from the satellite in orbit are received from Earth. A third station helped students visualize gravity, teaching students the nature of satellites orbiting around the earth. Utilizing the approach of the Maker Movement that involves learning by creating, students practiced Next Generation Science Standards in a tangible and exciting format.

The RYNJ Space Science Unit incorporates key STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts throughout its curriculum and was designed by Mrs. Penina Richman, science coordinator, and Mrs. Jenni Levy, Lower School General Studies Principal, in consultation with experts in the field. After two years of preparation and design, the students are enjoying their learning. The unit culminates in the three-part program hands-on learning experience, and a research paper. In this unit there are both traditional labs and computer-based lab experiences.

A vital component of the new RYNJ science curriculum is the embedding of technological skills in the study. RYNJ educational technologists introduced the new unit and taught students how to utilize Google Spreadsheets to chart key information and patterns in space. Mrs. Richman, after conducting extensive research and attending Next Generation Science conferences with the Bergen County Supervisors and Principal Association and visiting Fair Lawn Public Schools, oversaw the creation of the unit.

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