Three University of the Sciences students spent their winter break in the classroom. While that does not sound unusual for a college student, the classroom experience was in Southeast Delco School District elementary and middle schools helping students develop science projects.
University of the Sciences students are among Temple University and Delaware County Community College students who are spending several hours a week in each of the Southeast Delco feeder schools after school programs, helping the kids with all aspects of their projects. The program was coordinated by Today’s Child Learning Centers, the childcare partner of the school district.
“We went as part of the day-care staff,” explained Johanna Kolano BI’11. “I’m helping one student develop a project that shows how plants grow using different liquids such as vinegar, soda, and water. I am helping him with materials and methods, running the experiment, and discussing how he is going to graph it and show the results.”
Kolano, who was based in Harris Elementary, also is assisting other students on experiments like a moldy bread project and a mouse maze. She is visiting Harris three times per week through February. At the end of the experience, the students will be well on their way to having projects that can be entered into a science fair.
The goal of Today’s Child Learning Centers program is to help students achieve in the sciences as well as show them a positive role model and the advantages of furthering their education beyond high school.
“The most important thing I took away from this experience was seeing the results of the projects and seeing how we pushed the kids to a higher level with their projects,” said Kolano. “I have no idea how to gauge what a fourth grader or a sixth grader should produce, but I held my expectations pretty high and a lot of the experiments were a success, so I'm really proud of them.”
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