From 8 – 11:30 a.m. students from various Sonoraville High School science classes worked with elementary students grades kindergarten through 5th grade, rotating from station to station, with SHS science students guiding them through each experiment.
According to SES Principal Elizabeth Anderson, teachers from both SHS and SES collaborated to create experiments designed to target main testing areas on the CRCT, that were fine-tuned to meet common core standard requirements specific to each grade.
Kindergarteners experimented with rock sorting and creating mini volcanoes; first graders watched balloons inflate with gases from a bottle; second graders learned about conductors and insulators; third graders participated in a fossil dig; fourth graders crafted safe crates for an egg drop and fifth graders explored their own cheek cells under a microscope, along with many others.
Present at the Science Day event was SES PTA President Lovette Shelton, who explained planning for the event started at the beginning of the school year.
“It’s important to be able to show (students) with the hands on experience and let them have a little bit of fun and see that school is actually fun too,” said Shelton.
Also in attendance was SES PTA Treasurer Teri Trawick, who explained that $3,000 was collected through various fundraisers to purchase the supplies used for Science Day.
“They have come in way under budget. We’ve got almost $1,900 left so the balance of that we are going to purchase some microscopes and slides to keep in the library so the entire school will be able to benefit,” said Trawick.
SHS Instructional Supervisor Becky Reynolds led efforts with coordination of students, activities and supplies for Science Day.
Reynolds explained the goal was to not only instill an excitement for science in students while learning, but to also build students’ understanding of science as they progress from grade to grade.
“You have to categorize and classify in every science class,” said Reynolds. “Kindergarten is doing rock sorting, and that seems like a simple thing, but they have to figure out how to rock sort, so they can be texture, color, size, but they have to figure that out. Then when they get into high school, into biology, they classify organisms, so that is a skill that will follow them all the way through and something that is reinforced every year in some sort of way.”
Part of coordinating the event included attempting to match SHS science students with experiments specific to their particular classes. Students in environmental science, for instance, were helping SES students dissect owl pellets.
SHS students volunteered to assist the elementary students and some earned community service hours working outside of school hours to prepare supplies such as making the fossils for the fossil dig experiment.
As high school and elementary students interacted, several SHS students were observed by administrators as being “future teachers in the making.”
Reynolds classified characteristics such as leadership, communication skills, organization and guidance as several other benefits of Science Day for SHS students.
“I think that’s the big thing is that they’re able to say, ‘what would happen if’, instead of telling them how to do it, they are guiding them through the process of science.”
According to Anderson, this science filled day for students is anticipated to become an annual event, to allow students to participate in and experience experiments and activities that often get pushed aside.
Administrators, teachers and parents agreed the event was a success, and according to Reynolds, Science Day was a great tool to instill a love for science in students.
“I think we are going to nurture the love of science in them… just those habits of mind skills, measuring, estimating, categorizing, those things are important for whatever you do,” said Reynolds. “As far as the science program what we hope is that they are going to continue to learn how to question and to think and to problem solve… because one of the things about understanding science is you have to think in questions and that’s some skills being developed today.”
Coordinators, teachers and administrators gathered for a debriefing at the end of the day to determine changes and improvements to be made for next years Science Day, however everyone agreed the event was a success.