ChickenStoryLast Friday, on a sunny afternoon, the Nueva garden served as a temporary home for some special guests. Thanks to eighth-grader Grace H., a group of curious and excited first-graders were able to meet and interact with a group of chickens during their Choice Time.

TOMMS biology teacher Tom McFadden was recently featured in a news article on Los Medanos College’s website after meeting with a group of students there to discuss his YouTube series “Science with Tom.” In the article, he’s quoted saying his life mission is “spreading a contagious love of biology to various parts of the universe.”

McFadden, who also leads the Science Rap Academy elective course, came to Nueva from Otago University in New Zealand where he was a Fulbright Graduate Fellow pursuing an MS in Science Communication. There, he taught neuroscience, created science songs for middle school students, created a nationwide science song competition, and conducted education research into the efficacy of music-based science teaching.

McFadden’s passion for how music can help students learn science was evoked while teaching biology at Stanford University as a core course associate. After graduating with a BS in human biology, McFadden led sections, created innovative lessons, and wrote exams. He was inspired to think of a way to reach students beyond the classroom and began to rap about science. He created a series of music videos on each unit, which led to science-music collaborations with elementary schools in East Palo Alto, a three-month project working with Mayan youth in Mexico, and the Fulbright. His music videos are a hit with online viewers around the world; he currently has more than 11,000 subscribers and nearly 100 videos posted on his channel.

To read the full Medanos College article, please click here.

September 16, 2016


Travel the Silk RoadWalking into a seventh-grade humanities class last week, one would have been met with a hum of activity and a heady scent of spice in the air as students worked in teams to smell, touch, taste, and examine dozens of spices that were traded along the Silk Road.

LensesThe MS Deans recount the day in their own words:

After meeting in the GCC, around a collection of “artifacts,” we began our first day of school by introducing teachers to these objects through the lenses of our summer.

MS flag fotballThe co-ed Middle School flag football teams officially kicked off their season on Wednesday with their first practice. As part of the school’s culture, Nueva engages students at every skill level and encourages everyone who is interested to participate in all sports — even those that traditionally attract mostly boys.



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