SCHOOL: E.K. Powe Elementary
GRADE LEVEL: 1st
PROGRAM: Soil Rocks!
INSTRUCTOR: Davis Tate
Scientist Davis’ Experience:
Today I was at EK Powe Elementary teaching a program called Soil Rocks. We spend the first half of the program talking about soil and its importance. We talk about how soil provides us with plants, which in turn provide us with practically everything we need to live.
One of my favorite parts of each of my classes today was explaining how plants give us oxygen. I explained that plants breathe carbon dioxide which is the same gas that we exhale, which means that plants breathe human breath! This always gets a fun reaction out of the students, but was especially pronounced with my students today. Which is why the next part was so much fun. I explained to the students that when plants breathe our breath, they take it in and transform it into oxygen, which they then breathe out. Most of the students already knew that humans breathe oxygen, but they had never considered that since oxygen comes from plants, that means that we are breathing plant breath!
This revelation was so funny to my classes that one of group even started waving to the trees outside and thanking them for their breath!
One of the joys of this job is seeing students grasp concepts in new ways, and breathing tree breath is such an excellent example of this. When I asked my classes why plants were important, the fact that they provide us with oxygen is one of the very first things mentioned, but by twisting this idea, they have a whole new way of conceptualizing something they already knew, further implanting it in their minds.
Today was my first time at E. K. Powe Elementary, but after my experience today, I hope to return many times in the future!