Grantee Spotlight: Henry Street School for International Studies

On an ongoing basis, Science House Foundation will share videos about some of our MicroGlobalScope grantees and collaborators located in over 20 countries around the world. Today, it is our pleasure to bring you a video filmed and edited by Brazilian documentarian André Blas about a Science House Foundation MicroGlobalScope grantee in New York City.

Melissa Scott is a middle school science teacher at the Henry Street School for International Studies in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Melissa has a diverse population of students, some of whom are recent immigrants to the US from China and other places. Many don’t speak English, but the philosophy of the school is that every student deserves an education regardless of his or her starting point. This notion tends to drive the school’s test scores down, which hurts them when it comes to funding related to test performance. Oddly, the school is situated in a building that is shared with other schools. The difference is clear just from walking down the halls. The students at Henry Street School for International Studies don’t have lockers and must carry their books around all day while their peers in the other school have a place to store their things. This relative disadvantage is felt by the students, many of whom already have difficulty reading and writing and staying motivated to become interested in learning. Melissa’s students dove in with their imaginations sparked as soon as their microscopy kit arrived.

Making scientific discoveries and sharing them with each other and students around the world inspired some of the students to document their findings to record their observations. Students in Brazil have also started to create art and write stories about their discoveries, which made us realize that this method of experiential science learning has a wonderful extrinsic benefit of catalyzing a desire to read and write.

We are thrilled to share her story (and the story of her amazing scientists in training, who call themselves the Nerd Crew) with you.

You can learn more about the MicroGlobalScope program here.

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