SCHOOL: Thales Academy
PROGRAM: A Matter of Science
My adventures with Science Fun For Everyone take me all over the state, and I get to teach many different programs to kindergarten students and 5th graders alike. Out of all the teaching I’ve done, my favorite program has to be “A Matter of Science,” where 3rd graders get to do experiments involving the states of matter and different types of reactions. We combine solids and liquids to make a gas in a heat-producing, exothermic reaction; we mix acids and bases in a color-changing reaction; and lastly–perhaps most importantly–we freeze some liquids into a solid treat: ice cream!
Although I’ve done this program many times, the kids always make it different and enjoyable. One classroom might be most excited for the ice cream, while the next might love the color-changing experiments. This week at Thales Academy in Raleigh, however, it was special for another reason. Throughout the program, I ask for lots of volunteers to help me out. There are many schools where the kids who don’t get called up are so disappointed that they let out a chorus of “Awwwww.” Things were different at Thales Academy, though.
Even though a handful of students weren’t picked, the volunteers were consistently applauded by their classmates. Some students, instead of raising their own hands, pointed to their friends that they might be chosen. It was so awesome to see them be that exciting for their classmates! As much as I can, I try to teach my students skills that will be useful when they grow up, both in reference to science and other. I try to make a point about the fact that grown-ups, especially scientists, collaborate to do most of their work, and it’s important for kids to learn this as early as they can.
So keep it up, Thales Academy! I’m proud that you were so encouraging to one another and interested in learning new things together. You were all awesome scientists with me, and I know that each of you can grow up to be an awesome grown-up scientist if you choose to do so.