Ask students at Hutchinson Elementary how the Grand Canyon was formed, and they may just offer hands-on demonstration. Thanks to support from a network of community partners that includes Horace Mann and Chick-Fil-A, the year-round school celebrated the opening of its first interactive science lab. Inside, students donning face masks and lined notebooks gathered around shallow containers of sand. A slow stream of water quickly created dips and craters similar to those that define the national landmark.
“We are grateful to our partners for helping us to create this science lab for the students,” said Hutchinson Principal Dr. Rebecca Dashiell-Mitchell, who noted that the school has 25 partners, including Communities In Schools. “When test time rolls around, our students will know the content because they’ve had hands-on activities,” she said.
In addition to traditional classroom instruction, the science lab adds a new dimension to lessons about plants or chemical reactions. Each student will participate in at least one two lab exercises each week. Teacher Marly Gregoire already has plans for her kindergarten students.
“We’ll be studying the life cycle of a plant,” she said. “The students also will learn the difference between living and non-living things when we grow our garden.”
In addition to the new science lab, Hutchinson also has a Promethean board in each classroom so students can learn valuable technical skills early in life.
“Hutchinson is committed to becoming a 21st century school so our students are ready to go out and compete in a 21st century world,” Gregoire said. “To compete in a global economy, these tools have to be familiar to our students at an early age.”
– To help teachers like Gregoire gain more comfort with 21st century learning tools such as iPods and iPads, School Reform Team 2 held a Technology camp before school started. Check out scenes from the camp. –
– Watch Ms. Gregoire demontstrate use of the Promethean board to teach her students about the letter F.