Inspired by an outreach event that I participated in at Washington Elementary School in Roselle, New Jersey, I have recently started a science based outreach program for elementary age kids in the Easton area. I have worked with my former student Laura Bochner, frequently seeking the council of my colleague Dr. Dave Sunderlin, to create hands-on science modules that capture student’s interest and engage them in the process of doing science.
My intent in starting this program is multifaceted. I think students should have more hands-on experiences with science earlier in their educational careers. My sense is that students often have very little experience with earth science before the get to college and I’d like to have more students have a chance to be curious about how the earth system works early in their educational experiences. I’d also like to help kids, who many not have that many opportunities at their disposal, to have at least a few more chances to think about how through education their futures might be different than their present.
Aided by the enthusiastic support and coordination efforts of Dr. Phyllis Finger, thus far, we have worked closely with Mr. James Bedeaux and his 4th grade class at Palmer elementary school engaging students in hands-on activities centered on the use of geologic materials to study Earth’s history. In the years to come, I intend to expand my outreach activities to work with teachers and students at other elementary schools in Easton as well.