A Science Club Takes Actionby: Olivia LeDee, Anna Mosser, Tony Gamble, Greg Childs, and Karen Oberhauser

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The after-school science club at Galtier Math, Science, and Technology Elementary Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota, learned some valuable lessons when they took newfound knowledge about pollution into their homes. After learning about the effects of various contaminants on health and what informed citizens can do about it, students tested their tap water and soil. As a result, both students and their parents changed behaviors. The experience proved valuable for the educators too, reminding them of the power of integrating science with real-world issues and how effective they can be in guiding children to make more informed decisions about their world.

  • Elementary
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  • on Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:30 AM

This article explains how the learning that took place in an after school science club for fourth- through sixth-graders spilled out into the community and created more informed citizens to help protect the environment. Inner city students worked with graduate students and teachers to learn about common environmental contaminants and their effects on humans. Then students examined their own environments by testing tap water and soil samples. One of their findings showed that 67% of the home soil samples were potentially contaminated with lead. As a result of these activities, students gained a new enthusiasm for learning and even went on to present their findings at the National Association of American Environmental Educators. Teachers looking for ways to connect science with home and community will enjoy reading about this program’s success.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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