In the summer of 2015, a John D. O'Bryant senior, Faria Kader, returned to her native country Bangladesh to change the way students learned. She remembered when she was a young student in the classroom memorizing concepts and formulas, which was something she hated doing. At a young age, Faria knew that learning happens through hands-on experiences, not memorization. The John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Sciences affirmed that conviction.
When Faria learned that she would be visiting family in Bangladesh, she wanted to return to her former neighborhood Chittagong, Bangladesh to teach students at the Nurture Academy School a new and "fun" way of learning. "I wanted the children to see the projects I did while at O'Bryant," says Faria. For a week, she taught students in grades 6-10 about water rockets, aurora borealis lights, and circuits. Under Faria's guidance, the students were encountering the unknown and learning to problem-solve and collaborate. "The kids had a blast and the smiles on their faces is what mattered the most," says Faria.
Many of the learning modules and curricula that Faria used in Bangladesh were developed by the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Edgerton Center, a long-time partner of the school. "Folks at MIT are willing to come and work with students. We want to empower them. It's good for both undergraduates and high school students, " says Ed Moriarty, an MIT instructor who has been working for the past 10 years with O'Bryant.
O’Bryant relies heavily on its strong partnerships, dedicated staff, and volunteers to create the next generation of leaders in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. " O’Bryant is by far the best-kept secret in Boston. Many of our teachers have a tremendous dedication and are passionate about inspiring students with a hands-on curriculum," says Ana Impellizeri, a mother and volunteer at the school.
Faria currently awaits college acceptance letters with hopes of attending MIT; she is also preparing for the summer. She is working on her website, which talks about her rich experiences, and she is currently raising money for another trip to Bangladesh. She is excited to bring new learning materials back to the students. "I started out with an idea, and now, I am helping to change the way we learn!" says Faria. As science and technology continue to revolutionize the way we live our lives, Faria is set on becoming part of the next generation of leaders, innovating while also "spreading a smile."
O'Bryant is one of three exam schools offered in the district. The school is committed to STEM and is dedicated to preparing all students for college and high-skill careers. You can learn more here: http://obryant.us/index.jsp