A group of educators from the Tonawanda City School District sat in on two Amherst Middle School science classes to learn how Amherst uses the Amplify science curriculum.
The educators visited the Amherst Middle School seventh-grade science class of Stacey Susi and the sixth-grade class of Kevin Fildes. They viewed the lesson materials and were able to debrief after watching the lessons as part of their research into various science curriculums.
“Amherst Middle School science teachers were able to act as subject matter experts for a local school district as they research various curriculum options,” said Susan Cyrulik, who coordinated the visit. Mrs. Cyrulik is a professional development coordinator for science & technology at Erie 1 BOCES who works with Amherst Central School District
Visiting from Tonawanda CSD were Leanne Hammond and Jim Schraufstetter, Tonawanda Middle School science teachers; David Sellan, Tonawanda Middle School principal; Jessi Donner, director of technology and Sarah Infante, director of educational compliance and accountability.
Amplify Science was piloted at Amherst Middle School during the 2019-2020 school year and the district now uses the curriculum in grades kindergarten to eighth-grade. Amplify blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write and argue like real scientists and engineers. It is a phenomena-based science curriculum that is designed to give students engaging, realistic experiences that mirror how scientists and engineers actually work. Students learn higher level thinking skills, a rich vocabulary and strategies that real scientists use.