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Category Archives: HMTCA

NSF-TEU Program at Trinity College Provides Support for Teaching and Learning at the HMTCA Summer Science Academy


The teaching interns in the HMTCA summer science academy are all undergraduate students majoring in science and they are interested in a career in teaching. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation – Teaching Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-TEU) program, these teaching interns come from colleges and universities across the country such as Trinity College, Vassar College, and Brown University, among many others. For example, one of the twelve NSF-TEU interns is current Trinity College student Jessica Duong, ’19 (fourth from left).

Because starting a teaching career is such a difficult task, the teaching interns have had mentors to observe and comment on their teaching and student learning. On July 2, mentor teachers from HMTCA met with the NSF-TEU interns to talk about highlights and challenges in teaching high school science. Trinity College alumna, Zuleyka Shaw ’06 (second from left), also joined the conversation as a former mentor and current HMTCA science teacher.

The HMTCA summer science academy and NSF-TEU programs are led by Trinity College Science Center Director Alison Draper and Dr. Kurt Love. Learn more about the program in a full-length story from the Trinity Reporter (Winter 2017), “Teaching to Teach”.

(Pictured above from left to right: Angela Kumm, HMTCA teacher and NSF-TEU mentor; Zuleyka Shaw, T ’06, HMTCA teacher and former mentor; NSF-TEU Interns: Madeline Crump, Jessica Duong T ’19, Thomas Schindelman, Oliver Yang, Alexa Castellana, Angela Zhang, Linda Zhang, Maria Salameh)

2018 HMTCA Summer Academies Begin at Trinity College


On June 19, the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) summer writing and science academies kicked off. Over the last few weeks, HMTCA ninth and tenth grade students have participated in these academies as part of the unique Early College Program partnership with Trinity College.

On the first day of session one, HMTCA students in the 9th grade writing academy chatted with current Trinity students on the first day (pictured above). Tennyson O’Donnell, the Director of the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric and HMTCA writing academy faculty, arranged the discussion in his classroom.

Over the next few weeks, HMTCA students in writing academy will practice and read different types of writing. Supported by a National Science Foundation – Teaching Experiences for Undergraduates grant, HMTCA students in the science academy will learn about environmental sustainability, including field work to test local water quality. Faculty and staff from both HMTCA and Trinity College design and teach in the summer academies.

Session one took place from June19-29 and session two will take place from July 2-13. Learn more about the partnership between HMTCA and Trinity College here.

HMTCA Students Visit Trinity College Admissions Office


As part of the summer writing academy, ninth grade students visited with Trinity College associate director of admissions, Kyle Smith ’05 on July 3. In the Reese Room at the Smith House, Mr. Smith explained the different components of a college application, particularly for Trinity College admissions that seeks deeper student narratives by being test optional. In the question and answer period, HMTCA students asked about GPA’s of applicants to Trinity College, the cost of books, and the fraternity system.

Learn more about the partnership between HMTCA and Trinity College here.

HMTCA Student, Abigail Dresser, Performs with the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble

On April 27, Abigail (Abi) Dresser, a senior-class student at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA), and Briana Daley ’18, performed with the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble. Abigail is the first HMTCA high school student to be part of the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble.

DSC_0892Abigail Dresser, HMTCA ’17, Briana Daley, Trinity ‘18

The Performances

The Instrumental Ensemble recital on April 27, 2017 included a performance by Abi on violin and Trinity College student Briana Daley ’18 on the flute, as well as Coordinator Nancy Curran on the harpsichord. They played two pieces by Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) entitled La Cupis and La Marais.

Last December 2016, Abi, Briana, and Nancy also performed together. This marked the second semester that Abi and Briana performed together for the Ensemble. Reflecting on her work in the Instrumental Ensemble, Abi stated it has been, “a great learning experience and something I have enjoyed going to every week.” (Watch part of the December recital here or below.)

The Partnership

As one aspect of the partnership between Trinity College and HMTCA, an interdistrict magnet school, Abi applied for and enrolled in Music 101. Her professor for the introductory course, John Platoff, noticed her musical skill and recommended that she tryout for the Instrumental Ensemble (Music 105), which was under the direction of Nancy Curran.

At first, Nancy was reluctant to accept a high school student. But having played violin for fourteen years, Abi demonstrated that she had the skill, maturity, and persistence required to participate in the Instrumental Ensemble. After seeing her audition, Nancy was very “enthusiastic” to have her join the Ensemble.

From September to April: The Instrumental Ensemble

Since September, the Instrumental Ensemble has met once a week to rehearse. Every week, Abi walks across the street to Trinity College for reheasal from HMTCA, which is located at the Learning Corridor. For Abi, the best part of the class was performing in recitals last December and this April. The most challenging was, “making sure my sound fit the two other instruments playing with me.”

Ensemble Coordinator Nancy Curran called Abi an “accomplished violinist”. In addition, she noted that Abi worked well with her Trinity partner and she, “was willing to take on the challenge of studying and performing French Baroque music, which is very difficult stylistically to play.”

DSC_0229 copy 2Nancy Curran, Ensemble Coordinator, Abigail Dresser & Briana Daley

 A Bright Future For Abi

After graduating from HMTCA this spring, Abi hopes to continue playing violin and studying music, perhaps as a minor. Having successfully completed Music 101 and Music 105 at Trinity College, she will have two possible course credits towards that goal. After college, she hopes to go into, “business, more specifically finance or possibly a real estate lawyer.”

Her musical partner, Briana Daley ‘18 wished her well in the future. Briana stated, “It has been an honor to rehearse and perform with Abi these past two semesters. She is an extremely talented musician, whose positive attitude and love for music shows every day. I know that a bright future is in store for her, and I wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors! She will be greatly missed.”


This video clip was from the December 2016 performance of the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble recital. The players include (from left to right) Nancy Curran, coordinator, Abigail Dresser, HMTCA ’17, and Briana Daley, Trinity ’18.



Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Upcoming Information Sessions 2017



The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy is an interdistrict magnet school located at Hartford’s Learning Corridor (53 Vernon Street, Hartford, CT, 06106) which is adjacent to Trinity College. The middle and high school enroll students from grades 6-12. The school features a unique partnership with Trinity College that includes programs between the two schools. Learn more about the school at the following information sessions:

December 7 @ 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 28 @ 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, February 4 @ 9:00 a.m.

Monday, February 13 @ 6:30 p.m.

HMTCA Twitter:

HMTCA Facebook page here.

Trinfo Partnership with HMTCA Brings New Bee Keeping Project to Community Garden, by Carlos Espinosa

Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 1.24.54 PM
During the spring semester, Trinfo embarked on a new collaboration with a science class and after-school club at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) that links to Trinfo’s community garden. Jared Lewis, the HMTCA teacher leading the class and club, has been beekeeping for a few years now, but in much smaller scale. The students in the original pilot developed a business model where they would harvest the honey and sell it in small bottles to raise funds for the project. Now with the additional colony, the club is doubling the size of the program and subsequently their harvest.
Read more at the Urban Planet Fall 2016 edition, which is published by the Center for Urban and Global Studies (edited/designed by Terry Romero).

The Sheff Movement is hiring a Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (part-time)


We’re Hiring! Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (Part-time)

Wednesday September 28, 2016
The Director of Communications and Community Partnerships will lead Sheff Movement coalition [“SMC”] efforts to build public support for its program of achieving quality integrated education in the schools of Greater Hartford. He/she will oversee SMC communications with and SMC organizing activities in the communities of Greater Hartford. He/she will have charge of coordinating SMC activities with school districts, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other institutions committed to providing quality integrated educated throughout the region.

Read the job description here. Please share this news with your networks!

We’re Hiring! Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (Part-time)


Sheff Movement Design Challenge – Sat., October 22, 2016


On October 22, the Sheff Movement will host a design challenge to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sheff v. O’Neill decision. This event is meant to promote meaningful public discourse and engagement that will ultimately strengthen Greater Hartford’s ongoing efforts to address racial and socioeconomic isolation and related inequities.

This conference aims to: 1) engage community members in a forward-looking process of generating new ideas for the Sheff plaintiffs, the state, and the city; 2) help our coalition envision a community-informed plan to meaningfully advance the goal of quality integrated education over the next three to five years; and 3) inspire innovation, alignment, and collaboration.

Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 9am-4pm (reception to follow)
Where: Hartford Public Library, Center for Contemporary Culture (get directions using Google maps)

Register here. More information below and at the Sheff Movement.


Basic Details of Our #improvesheff Design Challenge Conference

A “design challenge” is an event where participants learn the process of design thinking while applying its methodology to a specific question.

We believe design thinking offers a valuable framework for helping us assess Sheff’s progress, figure out what is (and is not) working well, identify and respond to unmet needs, and work in collaboration with partners to help us advance our ultimate goal of quality integrated education for all. We need to know how we might improve our efforts and accelerate our progress, and what needs to happen in order to provide students and families a fair, coordinated, and sustainable education system that embraces quality integrated education as a guiding principle.

The focus of the Sheff Movement’s design challenge (“What are the key ingredients for a fair, coordinated, and sustainable school integration system in the Greater Hartford region?”) will provide students, parents, educators, and other community members dedicated time and space to learn about, reimagine, and contribute to the advancement of quality integrated education. Using this dynamic and engaging process, participants will help:

  • Co-create a vision for achieving quality integrated education for all Hartford’s children
  • Reinvigorate the court-mandated process of providing all Hartford’s children a quality integrated education
  • Generate fresh new ideas, and outline strategies to meaningfully advance the goal of quality integrated education over the next three to five years


Who Should Attend?

Everyone! Our venue can accommodate 150 people (our goal is for 30 teams of 3-7 people to participate). We will invite a broad set of stakeholders—parents/caregivers; students; educators; policymakers; scholars; nonprofit, community, and business leaders; artists; advocates; school designers; and public education supporters—to lend their voice, creativity, and determination to this challenge.



Register as an individual or as a team. Individual attendees will work together in teams based on their identified interests.


Supporters and Partners:



We hope that we can count on your support! If you are interested in making a financial contribution or exploring a partnership with us, please contact us at

Meet the 2016 NSF-TEU Undergraduate Interns

The National Science Foundation – Teaching Experiences for Undergraduates kicked off last Monday, June 6, 2016 at Trinity College. The program brings together 12 undergraduate students (middle) from across the country in order to develop their knowledge and skill in teaching high school science.

A major goal of the program is support undergraduate science majors at small liberal arts college towards a career in teaching science. In order to accomplish this goal, the NSF-TEU interns, who are all majoring in one science discipline, take a science pedagogy course with Dr. Kurt Love and will participate in a summer teaching practicum under the supervision of experienced local teachers from the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) in Hartford, Connecticut.

Here are some of the NSF-TEU interns.


Jacob Abaraoha


Jacob is a rising senior at Columbia University majoring in Earth science, with a concentration in urban teaching. Jacob is passionate about issues of equity and access in education, and about science education as a context for examining morality and social responsibility. He hopes to be a middle school science teacher, working on citizen science initiatives with students and using the classroom as a space for boundless scientific exploration. As a prospective educator, Jacob’s goals revolve largely around promoting critical inquiry, developing meaningful and lasting networks of support for students, encouraging students to recognize their efficacy in their communities, and helping students see science as a tool for social change.

Mariel Becker


I am Mariel Becker and I am a Junior at Wesleyan University. My major is Biology and I am also earning a Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies. At Wesleyan I am part of the Ski Team, teach a fitness class, and TA for Introductory Biology and Elementary Statistics. This next semester I will be studying abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (I am most looking forward to hiking the Highlands)! Although I am not sure if teaching is what I want to pursue, participating in the TEU program has been a valuable experience.

Carol Bowe


I am a senior physic major at Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college outside of Philly but I was born and raised in Boston. I have always had a passion for teaching. In fact, when I was little that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up and although that has changed slightly over the years, I am happy to once again be pursuing that career. Outside of teaching I am passionate about sustainability and environmental work. I also write spoken word poetry and recently competed in a national poetry slam as part of a team from my college.

Charlotte Gbomina


Hello, my name is Charlotte Gbomina (the G is silent). I am a rising senior at Grinnell College with a declared Biology, Spanish and Education major. I’ve been interested in education since the day my family moved to the U.S in 2003 when I noticed how fun learning could be. I was that one student that was always interested in concepts that almost everyone disliked and as I went further in my schooling, I encountered teachers who were passionate about teaching which inspired me to aspire to become a teacher. After graduation from college, I plan on going into the teaching profession to implement the philosophies I’ve learned.

Jess Voight


Hi! My name is Jess Voight and I am a senior Biomedical Engineering major and Models and Data minor at Trinity College.  On campus at Trinity I am involved with the Outdoors Club, Engineers Without Borders, and the Society of Women Engineers. I enjoy getting outdoors, gardening, and puzzles. Unlike most others in this program, I am not set on becoming a teacher in the future. Rather, I see this program as a way to expand my abilities as a leader and make a meaningful difference in the local community. Additionally, I see the need for students to develop a passion and interest in the sciences and hope I can help with that.

 Stanley Walker

Hello, my name is Stanley Walker and I’m a senior Astronomy Physics combined major at Whitman College. I am the sixth of seven children and I grew up Olympia Washington. I love getting outdoors, going on runs, and climbing on things. I am also a nerd in every sense of the word, I love comic books, video games, D&D, Harry Potter, etc. I chose an Astronomy Physics combined major because space is awesome and studying the origins and evolution of the universe is incredibly satisfying. I was homeschooled for the majority of my formal eduction. This has instilled in me a love for learning and a unique viewpoint on education that I would like to bring with me into a career as a teacher.