New Science Teacher Brings Innovation and Excitement to Ezra Academy

“There is such a buzz in our classroom that Dr. Waynik peeks in to see if we are six feet apart or tearing up the lab,” describes new Ezra Academy Science Teacher Willa Ridinger. The Head of School invariably finds animated students collaborating on projects, such as designing valves to prevent the backflow of blood (marbles) from the atrium to the ventricle.
A graduate of Hopkins, Dartmouth and the UConn School of Law, Ridinger has taught English and science, all while running a pottery business and teaching a JCC indoor cycling class. Her many interests and talents infuse Ezra’s science curriculum.
Studying renewable energy, fifth and sixth graders built dams and solar houses; they plan to make sail cars in warmer weather. Parent Nicole Korda says her son loves the hands-on projects, like building insulated model houses to discover which materials are most efficient. Marisol Sanchez-Moycik notes that her daughter’s critical thinking and public speaking skills have blossomed as teams investigate and debate energy sources.
The creative approach continues into seventh and eighth grades where students master the concepts needed for success in high school and beyond. Seventh-grader Jordan Hass’ favorite part of science is getting to play games outside to learn new material. The class recently aced a quiz on the periodic table.
Sixth-grader Shai Hurwitz sums it up: “Morah Willa brings science to life by having us immerse ourselves in a subject. She makes it very interactive and exciting.”
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