Students Discovering Science Teachers Show, Rather Than Tell, Kids at Ruth Upson Elementary

Article excerpt

Students in Room 36 at Ruth N. Upson Elementary recently

learned how to recycle water.

Next door, another class conducted an experiment on wetlands

and how they help cleanse water.

And on the other side of the school, in Room 113, students

learned how science can be used to do magic tricks, such as

sticking a needle inside a balloon without making it burst.

For the entire day, more than 500 students from all grade

levels at Ruth Upson saw, on Nov. 3, how science really works.

They participated in Science Discovery Day, which included

experiments, a display of various mammals by Lee High School and

a general science lecture by the city's Environmental Protection

Board.

Ruth Upson sponsored the event to comply with a state law that

requires elementary, middle and high school teachers to show

rather than tell their students about science.

At Darnell-Cookman Middle, students didn't have an all-day

science activity. But they are learning how to make a cell with

hair gel and how to figure out the genetic patterns of candy

gummy worms.

"It's [hands-on science projects] been application for kids who

may or may not otherwise understand," said Worsowicz, a guidance

counselor at DarnellCookman in Historic Springfield near

Methodist Medical Center.

At Ruth Upson, special education instructor Dena Harris had her

students create a makeshift wetland with grasslike moss

contained in a coffee filter placed inside a strainer.

"At first, I didn't know what a wetland was," said Whitney

Worthy, 10, a fifth-grader at Ruth Upson. "We draw pictures on

the board to see how wetlands look. …