Forging a science alliance: Halstead Academy, Aberdeen Proving Ground partner for new year



This past Monday, teachers across the county returned to their classrooms to begin preparations for the new school year. While those preparations mostly consisted of lesson planning and classroom housekeeping, for Halstead Academy of Science and Art, preparations took on another form: forging a science alliance.

Halstead faculty members traveled some 30 miles from Baltimore to Harford County to visit the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Education Outreach Center. Upon arrival, the Halstead staff started their day by exploring the center’s science classrooms, computer laboratories, metal and wood shops and robotics staging arenas. Afterward, the Halstead faculty participated with APG staff in team-building activities geared toward strengthening creativity and problem-solving skills.

“[The APG STEM and Education Outreach Center] served as the perfect setting for a school that was named a [2014] National Magnet School of Distinction for its science and arts program,” said Susie Peeling, magnet coordinator at Halstead.

Fortunately, Halstead staff members are not the only ones who will visit the center. According to Peeling, “this destination in Aberdeen is already secured on the schedule for Halstead students.”

Throughout the 2014-2015 school year, Grade 5 students will collaborate with APG chemists on investigations related to biotechnology. What’s more, for National Engineers Week, observed each year during the week of George Washington’s birthday, Halstead students will take a field trip to the center to build solar cars.

The STEM collaborations are not limited to APG, though. In fact, Peeling added, “The partnership that Halstead Academy has with the APG STEM and Education Outreach Center is one of a plethora of partnerships that the school has established.”

Among Halstead’s other partnerships is one with the United States Department of Defense. In honor of National Chemistry and Computer Science Education Weeks, observed in October and December, respectively, Defense Department representatives and Halstead students will join forces for special themed projects.

As far as Peeling can see, partnerships like these are “taking the school to new heights and providing students with once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences!”


Story idea and photos by Susie Peeling, magnet coordinator, Halstead Academy of Science and Art. Story by Blake Lubinski, intern, Department of Communications and Community Outreach.
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