Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

From Outrunning Lava to Building Catapults, Success Academy Scholars Engineer Their Futures


How can I invent a package that never ends up in a landfill?
What does it take to build a filter that makes water safe enough for humans to drink?
Why do roller coasters work?

These are the questions scholars pose to themselves as they prepare for their middle school’s Exploratorium. During the four-week stretch between Thanksgiving and Winter Recess, science classrooms across Success Academy middle schools are transformed into laboratories, middle school scholars into scientists, and teachers into research directors. The Science Exploratorium, a showcase of self-driven, inquiry-based projects, empowers scholars to put science and engineering into action.

Scholars spend many hours planning, building, and experimenting, using every science class during this period until they find the answers. The projects cover a wide range of subjects: earth science (fifth grade), life science (sixth grade), chemistry (seventh grade), and physics (eighth grade). The Exploratorium gives scholars the chance to take academic and intellectual risks, make mistakes, and learn about science and themselves.

The Exploratorium gives scholars the chance to take academic and intellectual risks, make mistakes, and learn about science and themselves.

Their work culminates in a university-style symposium attended by school staff, community members, and families. Scholars present their work, take questions and feedback, and peer review their classmates.

“The Exploratorium helps scholars grow as scientists in fundamental ways by helping them understand the scientific method and experimental design, but it also goes deeper than that,” said SA Harlem West science teacher Christina Carfora. “A lot of scholars come out of the Exploratorium feeling empowered to pursue a career in STEM. They start to see themselves as scientists, as a part of science — not just as participants in science class.”

For more photos and videos of the Science Exploratorium in action, check out photos and videos on the Success Academy Instagram page.

Written by Success Academy December 21, 2017


Related posts

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Back to Basics: 3 Ways Parents Can Help Scholars Adjust to In-Person Learning

October 4, 2021 Success Academy

The school year is well underway, and it is so exciting to be together again in our classrooms. We love seeing scholars connect face-to-face and participate in hands-on science labs, team sports, and theatre productions alike. Nevertheless, we know returning to a new or unfamiliar learning space can be a challenging transition, and scholars might... Read more

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 29, 2021 Success Academy

The deadly pandemic that forced children to isolate and learn remotely has only deepened painful issues of inequity. All around us, there is profound learning loss and lack of access to equitable resources. At Success Academy, we have a special obligation to get back on track and ensure that our students realize their full potential,... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.