Target 1. Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.
Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.
Target – Engaged Community Partners. FWSU staff and students will collaborate, innovate, create and conceptualize ideas and learning with local, regional, state, and global partners to make a difference in their community, state, and world.
High School students at BFA are experiencing a new way to learn about Biology and Math; together in a new course called Bio-Math. Science teacher Gabe Grant and Math Teacher Jensen Welch collaborated to create a new course that would allow students to make connections between the content areas. About forty 10th grade students registered for the course which meets every day during blocks 3 and 4.
During class time, students have been exposed to similarities between the structures of the two subjects. They have utilized math concepts to complete science tasks and used their science reasoning skills to solve math problems.
A major component of the course is field experience and since the class meets for two blocks each day, the teachers have taken full advantage of local resources to expose students to science and math applications all around them.
Students visited the Fairfax Pollution Control Plant and learned how wastewater is treated with bacteria and then chlorine before being released into the river.
Gathering data from the Lamoille River was a favorite of the students because they conducted their own research about the invertebrates that live in the river.
BFA senior Jacob Sweet toured students around his family’s dairy farm in Fletcher, VT. The farm uses robotic milkers and a sophisticated data collection system that Jake and his family use to make decisions about their cows and the farm.
At LSF Forest Products, a sawmill in Fletcher, BFA Alumni Tucker Riggs explained the process of taking a log and turning it into dimensional lumber, including saving the bark from the logs for bark mulch, and grinding scraps into sawdust that local farms use for animal bedding.
The Farm Between is a fruit farm and nursery in Jeffersonville, VT. John and Nancy Hayden shared the work they do to protect pollinator species and habitat so they can have productive fruit harvests.
At all of the site visits, students have been asking questions. Eventually, they will select and investigate one of their questions in the form of a research project that details the connections between Math, Biology and their community.
Sophomore Hallie Hoffman said of the most recent field trip, “It was fun to tour the fruit farm and learn about bees, and I hadn’t realized there was so much math that went into farming.”
As the course continues, Ms. Welch and Mr. Grant will seek more opportunities to show that Biology, Math, and the community are interdependent.