My students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some need extra help after school, and some are more than willing to go get extra resources just to have more fun in the classroom. These projects add a significant hands-on portion to my classes. They also extend students' ability to carry their learning beyond the classroom and perhaps develop an interest they never knew they had.
Students who have more resources, have more choices and therefore more chances to find something they like doing and something they excel at doing.
When you have activities that are out of the ordinary, students appreciate it and remember it.
All the students in my classes must complete several papers through out the year. Having a library at home in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is difficult at best. Even if they have books at home, they might be in a box somewhere. The requested materials are books which put STEM topics at the forefront. My students need to understand what it is to do science first hand and so these books like October Sky, Pluto Files, The Hot Zone, A Brief History of Time, and Marie Curie for Kids; gives them a glimpse of what science really looks like on the front lines. Often times they only use online sources this is a way of finding a solid source which they have had to research without the aid of the internet. Projects like these are extras that students in hard hit areas need to help them excel.
Currently, literacy is the most important issue in science education.
It has become apparent across all demographics that when students have a good science vocabulary they perform better in the classroom and on state testing. In the science classroom this has to be addressed directly. The students will also gain confidence as they understand more and more.
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