Show #1 July 6
Rock Star Ralph – Music teachers like East Hanover Township’s Randy Raab have to please multiple, fickle audiences. Raab engages his audience through a mix of unconventional and orthodox methods. He introduces pre-kindergarten students to the mechanics of the violin before singing and dancing to a song about a cookie. Older students play a game to identify classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart and their famous works. Raab uses technology and old-fashioned showmanship to engage and excite his students about music and more.
Empowering Girls – Girls continue to find inspiration in the life of New Jersey native and suffragette Alice Paul. Clearview Regional School students learned about Paul and many other inspiring women, from pilots to pioneers, from inventors to artists. Students created art projects and performances to bring the achievements of historic women to life.
Rewind: Classroom Close-up, NJ 20th Anniversary – Styles have changed since the first broadcast of Classroom Close-up, NJ in 1994. Hair and clothes look different. New music sounds different. Schools have evolved. But one thing that has remained the same is the focus of Classroom Close-up: to highlight inspiring and innovative projects and people in New Jersey’s public schools.
A Day in the Classroom - Politicians and the public are sometimes quick to criticize schools, but just as in any profession, unless you’ve walked in their shoes, you’ll never know the challenges and satisfaction of working in the public schools. Logan Township School District is giving the public a chance to see what it’s like to work a full day in the classroom. Volunteers served as teachers and paraprofessionals to experience first-hand a long, fast-paced day filled with frustration, humor and heartfelt moments.
Sandy Back to School – More than seven months after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Monmouth Beach community, closed their elementary school building, and forced them to relocate, students, teachers, and staff returned to their restored school building for the final days of an extraordinary school year.
Show #2 July 13
Sing for Change - Students at Blackwood’s Loring Flemming Elementary School are using their voices to educate people about bullying, respect, and self-esteem. More than 100 students participate in a concert in which they sing songs such as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and a kid-friendly version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” Music teacher Erica Guillama was motivated to incorporate character education and bullying awareness into her music classes after learning that children as young as 11 years old were taking their own lives as a result of bullying.
CSI - Crime Scene Investigation is an interdisciplinary event involving students from Franklin, Kittatinny, Halsted, Frankford, Sussex Wantage, Lafayette, and Andover. Students worked with a medical examiner, a lawyer, a CSI professor, and teachers to complete blood-typing, fingerprinting, footprint analysis, crime scene sketches, and other activities to solve a murder based on real events.
Wax Museum - More than 60 students from Washington Elementary School in Hawthorne participated in a Wax Museum project designed to reinforce performance, reading, and project skills. Each student chose a famous person to research from a list that included presidents, scientists, athletes, entertainers, and more. Students then created posters, maps, and poems about the historical figures. On the day of the wax museum, each student pretended to be wax status of the person they had chosen and visitors could push a button in order to hear a memorized presentation.
Rewind: Frederick L. Hipp Grant 20th Anniversary - Over its 20-year history, the Hipp Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to public school employees. From the year-long study of cultures that culminates in a Chinese New Year celebration to high school students producing a television show demonstrating basic scientific theories in an entertaining way, each of the 301 grant projects are remarkable. And they are just a sample of the innovative ideas being developed by public school educators across the state.
Show #3 July 20
Rewind: Surgeon Story – Five years after they were featured on Classroom Close-up, NJ, we revisit Albert Siedlecki, an eighth grade science teacher at Medford Memorial Middle School, and Dr. Lee Buono, a neurosurgeon and Mr. Siedlecki’s former student, to discuss how the episode led to them being featured on National Public Radio’s StoryCorps project and honored by the White House.
Project Reservoir - The 7th grade students at Christa McAuliffe School, PS #28, in Jersey City are participating in Project Reservoir, a program that partners them with the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance to help revitalize, redesign, and transform a defunct and semi-abandoned reservoir. Nature has slowly reclaimed the area and it is now an area teeming with fish, wildlife, and plants. The school has joined forces with the Alliance to help transform it into a recreational and educational nature preserve and to promote awareness of it to the community.
MAST Graduation – Students and teachers at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology learned a powerful lesson in tenacity this year. After working to win and implement a Hipp grant, Superstorm Sandy not only devastated their project, it also damaged their school and changed their lives. As the senior class celebrates their graduation, they are taking with them the lessons they’ve learned and the skills they’ve had to build in order to persevere and finish strong.
Swimming Upstream - Students from West Milford Township High School team up with students from Maple Road Elementary School on a watershed project in their community. The high school students capture fish and conduct tests as part of a unit on molecular biology while the elementary students work with the high school students to dissect fish and write their findings on the project blog. The project is funded in part through a Frederick L. Hipp grant.
Show #4 July 27
River Watershed Project - Students at Wallkill Valley Regional High School conduct monthly testing of the Wallkill River, which runs through school property, to evaluate the health of the ecosystem. More than 90 percent of the area is watershed land, and this project helps students gain awareness of their environment while learning how to use technology to gather scientific data and working with environmental scientists whose job it is to track the health of the river. The project is funded in part through a Frederick L. Hipp grant.
Celebration of Technology & Learning - The Celebration of Technology & Learning brings together hundreds of educators from across the state who are eager to improve their skills integrating technology into their diverse classrooms. Educators learn how to introduce engineering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) work into kindergarten through grade four computer classes, how to “flip” a regular education classroom so that new material is introduced to students via web videos as homework and class time is made up of project work, and how to create individualized technology supports for students with disabilities.
Math Mania - Fourth graders at Sayreville’s Samsel Upper Elementary School have a unique way of combating the test-taking blues - they participate in Math Mania, a program that exposes them to math concepts such as probability, measurement, tree diagrams, fractions, and geometry in fun and active ways. The goal of the program is to help relieve the stress of standardized testing while using kinesthetic activities to help jog students' memories on test day. While students participate in the day-long event, their parents attend a special meeting to learn how they can help their child prepare for the NJ ASK 4 examination.
Rewind: Technology Tools – For 20 years, Classroom Close-up, NJ has documented the impact of technology on New Jersey’s public schools. In this Rewind segment, we take a look back at a time when computers in the classroom were rare, email was cutting-edge, and school libraries used card catalogs – while contrasting it with the classrooms of today.