The Alternative School for Math & Science


Innovative teaching. Student-centered learning.

Middle School Grades 6-8

Community Holidays: Reflections on Golden Week

The following reflection on Golden Week, a collection of national holidays celebrated in Japan, is written by ASMS teacher Yumiko Akiba. Many thanks to Miss Akiba for sharing more about Golden Week with us! ASMS community members are encouraged to share about holidays they observe for future posts by completing this Google Form

Many of the holidays in Japan are related to the Japanese emperor, law, and nature. However, one which we most love is the so-called "Golden Week." The Golden Week consists of three-day holidays called "Kenpou Kinennbi," "Midori no hi," and "Kodomo no hi." We call it Golden because you get three days in a row for a holiday! On the first day, many Japanese people travel to go home and visit graves with their parents. Kenpou stands for Constitution, and Kinennbi stands for Memorial Day. After WWII, the US helped Japan draft a constitution. Initially, it was proposed on November 3 but did not take effect until May 3. Next, Midori stands for green, and hi means day. Therefore "Midori no hi΅ means Green Day. Yes. You guessed it right. We celebrate nature. We have a phrase called "Shinrin-yoku," which simply means forest bathing. Many Japanese people will go to the forest to hike, picnic, and appreciate mother nature. The third day is the "Kodomo no hi." Kodomo means children. Until 1948, Japanese people celebrated this day as Boy's day (Girl's day was on March 3). However, in 1948, we switched to Children's day, celebrating both boys and girls. This month, Japanese people fly "Koinobori," a carp-shaped windsock. At the very top of Koinobori, you will see black carp (Father), followed by Red (Mother), and either Blue (boy) or Pink (daughter), depending on the firstborn. After that, different colors represent both boys and girls and depend on the number of children in the family. Kids get to eat excellent food and play with their family all day on this day. In recent years (before COVID), many families have traveled internationally during this time. Airports and train stations in Japan are packed during Golden Week!


ASMS Science Teacher Receives Jefferson Award


Pat Killian won the 2022 Jefferson Award for Public Service. This award gives the community an opportunity to recognize everyday citizens who do extraordinary work, and touch the lives of many in our community. Pat is the 7th grade science teacher at ASMS and FIRST robotics coach of the world-class team FTC 5484. Pat graciously volunteers 1,000 hours per year towards supporting youth robotics in the Southern Tier. Pats work extends beyond the regular robotics season as she also volunteers to facilitate a robotics program at the Salvation Army. Pat's selfless dedication to teaching students the fundamentals of science, technology, and life skills embodies the FIRST robotics principle, "Gracious Professionalism". Through her community service she has instilled her gracious professionalism in her countless students over the years and they have gone on to be successful adults after graduating.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Alternative School for Math and Science admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, or any other characteristic protected by law in the administration of its educational admissions, and personnel policies, financial aid programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.