8th Graders Making Waves at The Joy School
Laura Spaulding

Middle school teacher Ms. Farrah strives to make her science concepts come alive through collaborating with other disciplines, like the arts. 



One of our core values at The Joy School is “we work hard, and we play hard!” You can see examples of this happening every single day by walking our halls: dance parties during drop off, happy faces in PE class, messy hands and smocks in the art room, and fully engaged children and adults on the playground. 

And you never know what surprises are lurking in our academic classrooms. From the hugs, high fives, songs, and smiles that exude from Ms. Kate’s kindergarten classroom all the way to our 8th grade Science lab - The Joy School changes lives by making learning both meaningful and fun.

Farah Mithani, one of our middle school science teachers, shares how she fully engages her 8th grade students in the learning process, preparing them for success next year in their traditional high school science courses. Just like every other middle school science classroom in Texas, we are teaching lab safety, the value of both research and experimentation, how to write a lab report, and how to study for a test. Of course, 8th grade year, there is also the standard fetal pig dissection thrown in for good measure.

At The Joy School however, we are committed to making more than just the anatomy unit memorable. We strive to make every one of the science concepts we teach come alive through collaborating with other disciplines and subject areas, including the arts. As one example, Farah’s students explored the frequency, wavelength, and properties of sound waves by taking a deep dive into music. Farah explains how “every 8th grader created a short film of sounds recorded from around The Joy School, researched either a genre of music or instrument, and had fun with music ratings of unknown and classic songs from different time periods and genres.”

At the conclusion of this unit, Kate Murphy, Dean of Students, showed up to school as DJ “Yes Kate Yes,” and explained how sounds are broken down into beats and mixed. Break dancer, Bboy Gavelon, tagged along to show off his moves and explain how dancers depend on the sound waves created by a DJ.

The 8th graders are now gearing up to learn about light waves which will include a project using waterproof film cameras. Keep an eye out for their photography exhibit coming soon to a hallway near you!


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