CONTACT | CALENDAR | STAFF | EMAIL LOGIN Parent Portal logoFacebook iconTwitter iconYoutube iconInstagram Icon

Toggle Menu



Physical Science teachers and students work with NASA on a citizen science project

Several classes of Hampton City Schools physical science students have been working with Dr. Sten Odenwald, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and educators at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), to collect data on noise pollution as a part of the citizen science project Silent Earth. Joining approximately 500 other participants from across the globe, students at Jones Magnet Middle School (JMMS) and the Spratley Gifted Center (SGC) have been using a sound meter app on their Chromebooks to locate the quietest places in the environment. Contributing data to a NASA-driven citizen science project provided the context and was imperative for HCS students to learn about sound.

Graphical user interface, website  Description automatically generated









In consultation with Dr. Odenwald and Dr. Sharon Bowers (senior STEM educator at NIA), Sheryl McLaughlin (JMMS science teacher and Virginia Association of Science Teachers RISE Remote Teaching Award winner) worked with Betsy McAllister (HCS STEM teacher specialist and educator in residence at NIA) to create an engaging and experiential 7E instructional lesson on sound that prepared students for participation in the project. 

McLaughlin, as well as Debra Hicks and Brandy Bergenstock, SGC science teachers, field tested the lesson, which included a variety of sound investigations designed to help students explore and construct their own understanding of sound waves, pitch and intensity.

“The importance of hands-on science can't be understated. All students should feel like scientists. The idea that we are actively building a body of knowledge and making a difference through collective contributions is a passion we should try to light every day,” says Bergenstock.

Becca LeCompte of the Innovation and Professional Learning (IPL) team created an instructional video that teachers used to walk students through how to calibrate the Sound Meter app, take sound intensity readings, and upload their data to the Silent Earth project.

Students were then challenged to find the quietest locations in their outdoor environment, take multiple readings and upload their data that will be used to investigate the effects of noise pollution on human and ecosystem health.

Graphical user interface, application  Description automatically generated







Once Odenwald, McLaughlin, Hicks, Bergenstock, and McAllister meet to make final modifications to the lesson, it will be ready for all physical science students to engage in during the 2021-2022 school year.

McLaughlin noted, “It has been exciting to work on a project created by a NASA scientist, where our students are collecting real-world data as citizen scientists. A parent emailed to tell me her son came home the day the project was introduced saying how fun science was!”

©2020 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000


As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  

HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAB for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies.

Please note that some pages on the HCS website contain links to third-party sites.  HCS is not responsible for the content, facts, opinions or accessibility of third-party sites.


The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

  • To download this free program, visit the Adobe website.
  • To read PDF documents with a screen reader, please link to the Access Adobe website, which provides useful tools and resources.

Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.
Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

  • A description of the accessibility concern or question;
  • The webpage address of the requested material;
  • The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;
  • The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.


HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


HCS’s website and computer systems and networks are provided on an “as available” basis.  HCS makes no warranties, expressed or implied, without limitation, regarding the fitness for a particular purpose regarding any service provided by the system and any information contained or software used therein.  The division uses hardware and software provided by third-party technology vendors.  Therefore, the division does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software on the system, will meet the user’s requirements.