AMS in the Media
NYC Summer Quest 2012 (Fund for Public Schools on YouTube)

Using Summer to Narrow Achievement Gap (New York Times Schoolbook)

Real-World Problems + Group Learning = A.P. Calculus Success (New York Times Schoolbook)

Education Officials Aim for Year Long Learning Program (WABC-TV 7)

Students Compete for a Shot at the Golden Pi (New York Times)

The Art of Slipping in Some Learning (New York Times)

Bronx High School Follows its Grads to College (School Stories)

Teaching the Teachers at Urban Assembly (School Stories)

Before the First School Bell, Teachers in Bronx Make House Calls (New York Times)

Pomp, Diplomas and Words of Inspiration (New York Times)

AMS teachers featured in New Teacher Survival Guide: Mentoring (Teaching Channel)

AMS teachers featured in New Teacher Survival Guide: Classroom Management (Teaching Channel)

Intel video introduces AMS, 2009 School of Distinction

Bathgate MS Wins 10G for its Creativity (Daily News)

Coverage of the 2007 Math Competition (WCBSTV)

Coverage of the 2007 Math Competition (News 12)

Math and Science Pay Off (Daily News)

Intel Award Finalists Meet Governor Patterson (photo)

Teens Win Engineering Prize (Daily News)

Bronx Public School Takes Bronze Medal at MIT (press release)

Bronx Sixth Graders Master Mysteries of the Biology Regents (New York Times)
* * * * * * * * * *
Intel introduces AMS, 2009 winner of
the nationwide School of Distinction Award

This text will be replaced
* * * * * * * * * *
ARTICLE: Bathgate MS Wins 10G for its Creativity
SOURCE: Daily News
DATE: Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Students and staff at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in Bathgate have 10,000 reasons to celebrate.

The middle school program won Intel’s School of Distinction Award, which honors schools that use creative programs to inspire students to excel in math and science.

School Officials received a $10,000 check, trophy and a technology package worth more than $100,000.

“I am so proud of our entire school community,” said Principal Ken Baum. “It was a wonderful way to start the new year.”

The Intel Foundation flew school officials to Washington D.C. for the Sept. 15 ceremony.

Wendy Hawkins, the foundation’s executive director, praised the school for its unique approaches to teaching and inspiring students, making special mention of its annual mathematics tournament.

“The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science was recognized specifically for its rich math curriculum incorporating hands-on, investigative experiences that encourage student achievement,” she said.

Intel chose the Urban Assembly out of a field of 700 schools nationwide. “I’m absolutely thrilled,” Baum said. “This really reflects the efforts of our students, teachers, assistant principals, and parents. The whole school community is being recognized.”

The award monies will be used for more creative experiments and programs to help students get excited about math and science.

The technology component will include new smartboards, a math-themed video game system to help motivate students, and the creation of a school-based on-line community to parents, teachers, and students stay connected.

“This money is going to help us do a lot of the same things we’ve been doing but even better,” Baum said.

The school was named a finalist in April, and received a $2,500 cash grant.

The Bronx school started in 2004 with the sixth grade, and has added a grade each year.

It has grown to about 420 students at the Bathgate Educational Campus, which it shares with Validus Preparatory Academy and Bronx Mott Hall High School.

The school boasts high student achievement rates, including 81.5% of its students scoring at or above grade level, and 34% of special needs students showing significant improvement in math.
- Tanyanika Samuels
* * * * * * * * * *
WCBSTV's coverage of the 2007 Math Competition
This text will be replaced
* * * * * * * * * *
News 12's coverage of the 2007 Math Competition
This text will be replaced
* * * * * * * * * *
ARTICLE: Math and Science Pay Off
SOURCE: Daily News
DATE: Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Think of it as the little Bronx school that could.

The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science has been named a finalist for the 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction Award in mathematics. It was one of only three middle-school programs nationwide to garner the honor.

“We’re thrilled to be at the table,” said Principal Ken Baum. “We’re just a regular public school in the South Bronx, but we can play with the big boys.”

The Intel awards program honors schools using creative programs to inspire students to excel in math and science. Schools compete for $1 million in grants and awards. As a finalist, the school received a $2,500 cash grant.

Intel officials this month will name six winners – one elementary school, one middle school and one high school – in the math and science categories. Then, in September, one of those schools will be named the 2009 Star Innovator.

“Improving math and science education is one of the critical issues facing the United States if it is to compete effectively in a global economy,” said Wendy Hawkins, who heads the Intel Foundation. “It is encouraging to see examples of such excellence.”

The distinction, Baum said, has reaffirmed his pride in his students. “When kids come to us in the sixth grade, they’re at all different levels, so this award is a testament to how hard they’ve worked,” Baum said.

The school started in 2004 with the sixth grade and has added a grade each year. It now has grown to 420 students at the Bathgate Education Campus, which it shares with Validus Preparatory Academy and Bronx Mott Hall High School.

“The idea was to have a school where the very center is a subject that is often the most troublesome,” Baum said. “We wanted to take that subject and celebrate it.”

Their approach seems to be working.

Brianna Mann, 13, still talks excitedly about past school projects. “Once, we built rockets and used trigonometry to figure out how high it would go,” the eighth-grader said smiling. “It was so much fun.”

Samuel Fernandez, 13, said math now makes sense. “They explain it step by step and help you until you get it,” the seventh-grader said. “You don’t have to figure it out alone.”

School officials work extra hard to make sure students and teachers are connecting. “There’s no doubt that our teachers get to know every kid in class and know their strengths and weaknesses,” said Assistant Principal David Krulwich.

It’s a feature not lost on sixth-grader Maxell Ramirez. “They’ve figured out a way for us to study and have fun at the same time,” she said. - Tanyanika Samuels
Ledwin Martinez and Dhurata Dobraj, students at The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in the South Bronx, construct a papier-mache sculpture of the symbol pi for an upcoming math tournament this month. Photo by Richard Harbus
* * * * * * * * * *
PHOTO: Intel Award Finalists Meet Governor Patterson
DATE: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AMS' partnership coordinator Bryan Saunders, principal Ken Baum and AMS students join Governor Patterson in Albany to celebrate the school's selection as an Intel Schools of Distinction Award finalist.
* * * * * * * * * *
ARTICLE: Teens Win Engineering Prize
SOURCE: Daily News
DATE: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Students from the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science took third place at the Rube Goldberg engineering challenge. A Rube Goldberg machine is a collection of ordinary objects assembled in a humorous way to accomplish a simple task in the most complex way possible.

The Bronx students concocted 27 steps using items including a tennis ball, a mousetrap, a zipline and a swinging pendulum to turn off a light bulb.

Team members included Kayla Miller; Kiana Miller; Lynda Ojeda; John Itua; Chad Singh; Jorge Lozano; Abdoulaye Niamou; Danny Vo; Brianna Mann-Hernandez, and Jin Won Chung. They were coached by math teacher Tim Jones. - Tanyanika Samuels
* * * * * * * * * *
PRESS RELEASE: Bronx Public School Takes Bronze Medal at MIT
DATE: Sunday April 4, 2009
LOCATION: Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts

A team of ten students from the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science took 3rd place honors at the annual Rube Goldberg Engineering Challenge this past weekend at the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts. The competition, for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, is sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Twenty-four schools competed in this year’s competition, including some of the most competitive private schools in the Northeast.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is essentially a collection of ordinary objects, sequenced together through forces and motion—often humorously—to accomplish a simple task in the most complex way possible. Rube Goldberg contests have traditionally been seen as venues for promising engineering students to show off their ingenuity. The Urban Assembly’s team, in putting together its 3rd place machine, successfully invoked 27 different motions, including levers, inclined planes, a rolling tube, a tennis ball, a mousetrap, a spring gliding down a “zip-line,” water pouring into a cup to activate a pulley, and a swinging pendulum hitting a beach ball into a net, in order to create a device that, eventually, turned off a light bulb.

The round trip from the Bronx to Massachusetts was made possible by a generous gift from the Siemens Foundation, a recognized corporate leader in supporting educational initiatives in underserved communities. “I am so proud of our budding engineers,” said Kenneth Baum, Principal of the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science. “They trained hard for this event, staying after school for many hours to design and build their machine,” said Baum. “Their dedication is admirable.”

Representing Urban Assembly were students: Kayla Miller, Kiana Miller, Lynda Ojeda, John Itua, Chad Singh, Jorge Lozano, Abdoulaye Niamou, Danny Vo, Brianna Mann-Hernandez, and Jin Won Chung. They were coached by Urban Assembly mathematics teacher Tim Jones.

Located in the South Bronx, The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science (AMS) is a non-screened public school that enrolls 420 students spread across grades 6-10. Opened in the fall of 2004 as part of New York City’s Small Schools Initiative, AMS operates on the premise that critical thinkers, as they attempt to make sense of the world around them, are led quite naturally to mathematics and that applied mathematics can be a powerful unifying force in the school experience.
Urban Assembly students assemble their Rube Goldberg machine at MIT competition. From left to right in white shirts: 9th graders Chad Singh, Jorge Lozano, and John Itua. Urban Assemble teacher Tim Jones stands in background.
* * * * * * * * * *
ARTICLE: Bronx Sixth Graders Master Mysteries of the Biology Regents
SOURCE: New York Times
DATE: Wednesday, July 5, 2006

High school students statewide struggle to pass the Regents exams required for graduation. But at a small Bronx school, a group of sixth graders passed the biology Regents last month, surprising their teachers, although not themselves.

"It wasn't as hard as I thought," said Jose Castillo, 12, who earned an 80, the group's highest score. Passing is 65. "I have taken practice Regents, and they were harder than that."

Jose's school, the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, opened two years ago with one sixth-grade class. Adding a grade each year, it will eventually serve the 6th to 12th grades. It is one of dozens of small, theme-based public schools that are central to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's education policy.

Although the biology Regents is usually taken in ninth grade, teachers at this school felt that their students needed a challenge, so they essentially started teaching ninth-grade biology and added test preparation.

Ten of the 23 students who took the exam (known formally as the Living Environment test) passed with marks between 65 and 80 on a 100-point scale. Of the 51,000 students who took the exam citywide in the 2003-4 school year, 58 percent passed.

"Our idea is that if we can make math and science fun and engaging and rigorous, then children will want to do it and achievement naturally follows," said Kenneth Baum, the principal.

Keith Sheppard, an assistant professor of science education at Teachers College at Columbia University, said that for sixth graders to pass the Living Environment Regents was uncommon, but not unheard of. "Some of the Westchester districts have noted that their life science curriculums are similar to the ninth-grade Regents," he explained.

Still, he said he disapproved of encouraging sixth graders to study for the Regents because they do not develop "an understanding of scientific ideas." But at Urban Assembly, officials said they were thrilled to see what their students could accomplish. "We didn't know that 11-year-olds were sponges that large for knowledge," Mr. Baum said. "It really opened us up to their possibilities."

The school was created with the help of Urban Assembly, a nonprofit group that has established other theme-based schools. It is housed in the basement of a condominium building in Riverdale, awaiting a permanent home in September in the South Bronx. Most of its 155 sixth and seventh graders are from west Bronx neighborhoods and are poor, according to school officials.

Recently, the sixth graders had their final lab of the year, in which they focused on dissecting a three-foot-long pig. Each student drew a diagram of the animal's inner organs and answered teachers' questions.

When Mr. Baum observed a group cutting the skin around the pig's head, he covered his eyes and turned away, but the children did not flinch.

Dhurata Dobraj, 11, pointed at the cranium with a gloved hand: "It's really hard, because when you cut through the skull, you can cut through the brain at the same time, so you have to be very careful." Dhurata earned a 67 on the exam.

It was the culmination of months of hard work. Since February, the students have attended 17 Saturday classes during which they dissected earthworms, frogs and the class favorite, sharks. Jennifer Applebaum, who teaches math and science, assigned extra work from high school and college textbooks, supplemented with magazine articles. Ultimately, the students completed 20 hours of high school lab work. They also received help from English teachers in understanding test questions.

St. Joseph Hall, 11, who earned a 67, attributed his success to rigorous preparation. He now believes that with enough drive, he can pursue his dream: curing AIDS.

"When you get that inspired, that motivated, you feel like you can do anything," he said.

AMS Home

Useful Links

AMS in the Media «

AMS in Action

Accolades

Directions to AMS

The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science • 1595 Bathgate Avenue Bronx, NY 10457 • Phone: 718-466-7800

Site design based on Didier Hilhorst's submission to CSS Zen Garden