CCSC’s main entrance on Bent Street faces south, toward Kendall Square and MIT, and with all the media attention focused on the development boom spurred by the innovation economy, it’s easy to forget that in the opposite direction – practically in our backyard – lies one of the world’s preeminent science museums.
In fact, with the 1951 opening of its modern facility on the Charles River Dam, the Museum of Science pioneered East Cambridge’s subsequent transformation from a regional manufacturing hub to a global center for technology and life sciences. As they walked to Science Park on the morning of January 9, our 8th grade students probably weren’t thinking about the vast changes in the neighborhood over the past half-century, but clearly they were looking forward to the chance to spend the day off campus, exploring the museum’s exhibits.
Middle school teacher Phil Roebuck planned the Museum of Science field trip to complement the 8th grade’s science and math curriculum. The grade’s Principles of Science II course includes units on basic physics and chemistry, engineering, space, cell biology, and genetics, and Integrated Math II introduces students to algebra, data analysis, statistics, geometry, and measurement.
During their four-hour visit to the museum, the students worked in small groups, each with a faculty chaperone, on several interactive activities that applied some of the principles they are studying in class in real-world contexts. They also attended the “Explore the Universe” show in the Hayden Planetarium and a live demonstration of the principles of super-cold science.
After lunch they got a bit of exercise and fresh air on the walk back to school. Perhaps some of them even noticed the enormous variety of architectural styles and building uses along their route, and maybe some will become the next generation of architects, engineers and scientists who will help shape the neighborhood in the years to come.
Thanks to faculty/staff chaperones: Phil Roebuck, Seth Pearce, Emily Niska, Seth Hosking, Ruby Stardrum, Jessica DaSilva, and Jan Devereux.