Apr 29

Introducing TA’s Science Department

The Science Learning Community

Here at Tokyo Academics, we pride ourselves on fostering an innovative learning community where any student can grow into a creative and inquisitive scientist. Our science learning community focuses on helping students understand the world around them — from the light rays bending through our universe to the inner workings of our respiratory system. Our group classes and subject tutoring span the gamut of the middle school and high school science curriculum. Our science instructors not only hail from the best universities in the world, they’ve worked at NASA, at elite software and trading companies, have authored scientific papers, and now bring their high-achieving mentality to tutoring, passionate in their goal of helping our students excel.

Subjects Taught in Our Science Learning Community

The rich and diverse backgrounds of our instructors allows us to offer a wide variety of science instruction at both the high school and middle school level. The following are some of the science subjects students can learn at Tokyo Academics:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Robotics
  • Computer Science
  • General science

We support the International Baccalaureate program, AP courses, SAT subjects tests and beyond.

Our science learning community is composed of three major departments: Physics, Chemistry, Biology. Our learning emphases are closely tied to the subject in question, and so vary across each department — they are the cornerstones that our departments are built around.

To give you a better idea of science at TA we’ll take a deeper look at it from the perspective of one of the subject focuses – Physics.

The Physics Learning Community

Learning Emphases

Tokyo Academics is invested in the holistic development of middle and high school students, and our Physics learning community targets three learning emphases:

  • Building up the basics
  • Filling out a student’s “toolkit”
  • Creating a great learning environment
Building Up the Basics

One way I can support my students is through basics. It’s not possible to solve problems if your fundamentals are too shaky so you’re struggling with those instead of what the problem is actually testing. – Rei

It’s both the curse and blessing of Physics that the subject is cumulative. It’s essential for students to master the basics, whether that be kinematics or forces or even mathematics, in order to excel in later units. Often when a student is struggling with Physics it’s because they haven’t fully mastered this foundation, but it can be challenging or even impossible for students to self-diagnose the problem. At Tokyo Academics, our seasoned instructors are able to cut right through the heart of the problem, diagnose the student’s Physics knowledge and figure out what that student needs to work on and master in order to succeed.

Filling out a student’s “toolkit”

One thing I love about Physics is that it’s not about memorization — it’s about problem solving. When I teach my students Physics it’s like I’m training them to build up their tool belt — tools like physicals laws, formulas, or even just drawing a good diagram — so they can look at a problem and think ‘okay these are my tools, how do I dig into this? – Taryn

In school classes, there’s often an emphasis on rule learning and memorization. Students are taught to look for “the rule” or “the method” given them by their teacher or written in their textbook. At Tokyo Academics, we don’t teach our students to look for the one correct method. We believe in developing a student’s problem-solving skills by introducing them to their problem-solving tools. As students learn new physical laws and phenomena we train them to think of these concepts as their “tools” and show them how to identify what a problem is asking of you and how to attack it with your tool-belt.

Creating a Great Learning Environment

I never had a TA [when I was in high school] but I imagine it’s just comforting when you’re freaking out or stressed out about tests that you’re in a room with a bunch of adults who have all been through that and who can help you but also just offer perspective– you’re never alone. – Andrew

One of the most important things for excelling in Physics is a comfortable learning environment where students can step outside their comfort zone. In our Physics learning community students see that they’re not alone — they can observe classmates making the same mistakes as them, and at the height of their frustration, at any time, they can find a tutor mere steps away that’s anxious to help and set them on the right course. Tokyo Academics is committed to making a positive learning environment where students feel encouraged, cared for, and, maybe most importantly, actually have fun in the process.

Three Ways to Join the Learning Community

Group Classes

The classes are a great environment for stumbling through problems together. – Rei

We currently offer several group classes throughout the academic year. These classes are companion courses to the school curriculum and closely follow what students are doing in their school class. In our group classes, we’re committed to creating a setting that’s both fun and illuminating, where students can fearlessly interrupt their teacher’s lecture with questions, challenge themselves to explain their work to their fellow classmates, and learn from one another’s mistakes and successes.

One-on-one tutoring

With individual tutoring you can really target a students’ strengths and weaknesses and it goes at a pace that’s perfectly matched for that student, and also you’re building a certain rapport with that student, a personal relationship with them that extends beyond just their academic performance. You see more of their stress, their worries, and what they personally feel about the subject. – Andrew

In our individualized one-on-one lessons, the instruction is catered towards a student’s needs, particular international school curriculum, and long-term goals, all established collaboratively between students, parents, and tutors in the initial diagnostic session. Whatever the student’s or parent’s goals, the private tutor will show the student the precise path for reaching that goal. They’ll work with the student one-on-one to understand their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and blocks and guide the student down the path towards success.

Unstructured Use of TA Learning Space

TA fosters that community where students feel comfortable reaching out to tutors and tutors feel comfortable just going all in for their students. – Andrew

At Tokyo Academics, our learning community is richly stocked with resources that students are free to make use of outside of formal lessons — including textbooks, digital resources, and, of course, tutors. When not meeting with a student, our science tutors are there for students to chat with and bring questions to at any time. Even if students don’t have a lesson or class that day, they’re always welcome in the Tokyo Academics Learning Center. Here they can self-study at our tables and cubicles or just pop in to ask a question of our tutors at any time.

Join Our Community

Connecting tutors, students and their families, our learning community is a place where students can thrive, find comfort and guidance, and discover a real passion for science and learning itself.

To join one of our group classes, check out the classes page here.

We also invite family members to take an active role in the learning process. During a diagnostic appointment, you have the opportunity to get to know our tutors, learn more about our services, and get connected to our resources.

In addition, we are always growing and expanding. If you have ideas for future programs or services, or if you would like to request we offer a particular subject or class, please feel free to email support@tokyoacademics.com. We would love to hear from you, and we look forward to having you join our exciting, cutting-edge science learning community!

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