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Raul Pena » Home page

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Science and Technology are Amazing!
 
It is my belief that you can't teach any topic thoroughly without answering the basic question of WHY? Every five year old knows this, without knowing they do, when they ask the question why. Why, allows students to remember concepts because they are connected to the world while memorization seldom lasts beyond a quiz or test.
 
The K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are here and set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District (NLMUSD) has adopted the three course model and updated the science graduation requirements to three years as well. The required courses are;
  1. Physics in the Universe
  2. Chemistry of the Earth Systems
  3. Living Earth
I currently teach Chemistry of the Earth Systems which is quite different from your traditional chemistry course. We begin our explorations by looking at the world and ask ourselves all those questions we take for granted. What happens when hot things touch cooler things and what is actually happening that makes hot things hot? How do the properties of matter show up in mountains, oceans, plants, and our bodies? Chemistry is what makes things happen. Knowing the physics helps us understand why the chemistry reacts or doesn't and Biology helps us understand how we and all life are able to thrive.
 
While we engage in the content, we strive to include technology and the logical and practical engineering practices. These can be as simple as a ruler or as complicated as the programming for a robot. The engineering practices allow us to understand complicated systems and see what can not be readily seen. It enhances our understandings and facilitates effective communication. Oh yeah, I also teach a few of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering courses offered at the school.
 
The most current assignment information (instructions, due dates) can be viewed on Schoology. Your student can easily show this to you. Tutoring is available Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs from 2-3 pm.
 
Students can contact me via;
  1. Schoology messaging
  2. School email  rpena@nlmusd.k12.ca.us
  3. The Remind App
  4. Google Voice Number (626) 600-6764
Parents can contact me via;
  1. School email rpena@nlmusd.k12.ca.us
  2. Google Voice Number (626) 600-6764