Success in Math and Science Center Opens

Vivek Kasubaga, Staff Writer for Spokesman

On March 30, the brand-new Upper School Success in Math and Science Center (SiMS) was inaugurated. Since then, the SiMS Center, which has 15 student mentors from the Sophomore and Junior Classes, has become a hub for learning and receiving help in both math and science. PDS students have really taken advantage of the new resource, some even visiting daily, according to sophomore mentor Jack Mascali. “You get the camaraderie of being with another student and working with them, while being taught invaluable concepts about teaching,” added sophomore mentor Tag Quijano about the new center.

The SiMS Center was the idea of four faculty members: Upper School math teachers Lisa Webber and Jeffrey Rubens and Upper School science teachers Brian Mayer and Carrie Norin. For the past three years, these teachers have worked tirelessly to come up with and set up the structure and general operation of the center.

The SiMS Center runs similarly to the popular and well-established Writing Center at PDS. However, unlike the Writing Center, students are not able to schedule appointments for help in math and science, which encourages students to show up whenever they are struggling or just need a little practice. Presently, the center is open five periods a day.

The SiMS Center is currently in its pilot program and is still developing. Originally, the center was intended to be in the library classroom, but is instead located in the mezzanine level of the library. Although this area might come across as a temporary location for some, Head of Upper School Jason Robinson has greater plans for the area, intending to turn the whole upper floor of the library into a “learning commons, where more collaborative work would take place,” he explained. The new vision for the library mezzanine is “the beginning of a transformation of the whole upper floor as a new student support center, including SysOps, SiMS, and possibly the Writing Center,” Mr. Robinson continued.

“I see the SiMS Center as an opportunity for students to learn from students who have had similar experiences in their math and science classes years before,” said Quijano while teaching a student trigonometry.

In the months and years to come, the SiMS center will surely continue to evolve and grow, enhancing its already strong ability to help others, and supporting the math and science students of PDS.