Allowing students to experiment in science classes has helped Massachusetts rocket ahead of the entire nation and even most countries in an international math and science exam, reports the Boston Herald. Gov. Deval Patrick announced the stunning report card for fourth- and eighth-graders Dec. 9 at an East Boston school known for its science and math whiz kids. "This achievement is the result of the commitment to high standards of teachers and students in classrooms across the Commonwealth," said Patrick at the Manassah E. Bradley School. The results of the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) had Bay State fourth-graders second in the world in science–behind only Singapore–and tied for third in math with Japan and Taiwan. The state’s eighth-graders tied for first worldwide in science and sixth in math. Bradley school officials said providing students with hands-on lessons and teacher collaboration are the secrets that have helped boost the state’s math and science scores. "I don’t even think it’s a secret. It’s the school climate," said principal Anne Kelly. The TIMSS test was given in April and May 2007 to 3,600 students at 95 randomly selected schools statewide. Bradley science teacher Gwen Perry attributed Bradley’s strong fourth-grade science know-how to in-class experiments. "They’re able to make a connection to the world versus a straight textbook approach," she said of students…

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