How Hands-On Science Creates Advanced Students

In this video, Middle School Science Teacher, Mrs. Mattecheck discusses the qualities of the typical student at the Academies of Math and Science and how scholars interact with physical science experiments to ultimately create interest in the subject and to harness critical thinking skills.


Video Transcription:

Video Transcription:

My name is Nichole Mattecheck and I teach Middle School Science at AMS Flower.


The qualities that AMS students have that I’ve seen so far, is the excitement for like learning in a very hands-on, messy way. I think AMS curriculum is rigorous and it can be very challenging for them. So to have the science classroom, while it’s still very challenging, and they still have a long ways to go with understanding it all, but they get to learn in a way that is different from any of their other classes.


They get to actually interact with it and it’s hands-on. They’re working with partners and there’s talking and discussion that’s really exciting. They love that and that’s a quality about all our students that I really love.


It’s different than my student teaching experience. With the students, we would try to get them excited.  I teach something like elephant toothpaste but it was just crickets in the classroom. So here, having the school in the student body where they are super excited to learn about science is really great.


I want them to leave this year either loving science or something about science fascinated them. Or, they have questions about it, and they’re interested in it. I want them to have gained this skill where they think critically about things, and they approach information in a different way.


My 8th graders right now are learning about genetics and heredity unit, and we learned about selected breeding and genetically modified organisms this week. How I decided to teach that to them was, I gave them real articles on either GMOs or selected breeding including the pros and the cons, The Good the Bad the Ugly about it. then we had a whole class discussion where they got to think critically, they got to form an opinion and they got to see that there’s a lot of positives of this, we should do this, but wait, there are some really harsh negatives to it as well. Maybe this is a grey area, maybe everyone’s opinion matters, and I need to think more critically on this I don’t have all the information.


Having this ability to see some information, recognize that is not the full picture, and then to think critically on it and then be able to carry that with them throughout their life and be able to apply that to bigger issues such as voting issues.


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About Academies of Math & Science (AMS):

AMS has been providing award-winning STEAM curriculum throughout the state of Arizona for nearly 20 years. Our tuition-free schools provide scholars with the best educational experience in the study of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. 


At AMS, we believe that through a well-rounded education, we can transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s global visionaries.


With 9 state-of-the-art campuses in Phoenix and Tucson Arizona along with our 100% online virtual academy, AMS is providing word-class STEAM education to over 6,000 students.


Academies of Math & Science is a tuition-free open enrollment educational network. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about AMS, feel free to complete the contact form and one of our friendly and knowledgeable Enrollment Specialists would love to offer you assistance.


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The Academy of Math and Science – Flower is a public charter school in Phoenix that serves grades K-8 and offers a private-school education at no cost to parents, and high-quality, award-winning, college-prep STEM academics. Families love our team of caring and dedicated teachers, foreign language and music programs, and after-school care and sports.

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Your Child’s Future Starts Here!

Video Transcription:

“What’s incredible about AMS is its desire to constantly grow. There is never a point in time where AMS is content with where it’s at. There’s always a goal and always something to strive towards and that is a team I want to be a part of.


My name is Curtis Walker, and I am the Principal of Academy of Math and Science Flower.

Six years ago, I began my career with AMS as a teacher. I was a middle school language arts teacher and I transition from middle school language arts to an Assistant Principal position with the Camelback campus. Three years ago, was asked to become Principal and serve the community at AMS Flower and so three years ago I became the Principal at the Academy of Math and Science.


What makes AMS Flower so special and different from any other school is our sense of community. Here at AMS Flower we celebrate one another, we have a growth mindset, we look out for each other every single day and that is something that you do not find anywhere else.


Each and every day our teachers come to work, and they are happy to be here. That is something that you don’t find often when you’re talking about schools and education, especially in the midst of pandemic. And so our teachers come ready every day, happy and ready to work for our kids and ready to serve our community.


From front office, to facilities, to our paraprofessionals, to our teachers; there is a sense of collaboration, there’s a sense of community and we have each other’s backs.


Every minute matters. Every minute of instruction matters and every minute of building and fostering relationships matter here at AMS Flower. Our kids need us just as much as we need them. Our kids are special there is so much hope so much potential so much that we are looking forward to seeing all of her students on a daily basis.

Our students start with us beginning in kindergarten and they matriculate all the way through to 8th grade and that is something special within itself. What happens within those years is all on our teachers. Our teachers work their hardest every single day and commit themselves to planning lessons on a daily basis, ensuring that our students receive the highest quality of Education possible.  

Along the way, there’s the integration of Technology and making sure that celebrations are happening along the way. Our teachers want to make sure that our students have every opportunity afforded to them outside of AMS Flower.”

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