I think a great way to get kids involved in science is to give them something they can actually touch and hold and see.
I'm Lynn Sametz. I'm the project director for the GK-12 Program.
I'm Stan Faeth. I'm a professor and head of the biology department and the lead PI of this project funded by the National Science Foundation.
My name is John Lepri and I'm a Co-P, co-principal investigator.
William Tyminski, I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the department of geography.
So this grant is funded for five years.
We're pairing nine of our graduate students—it was an application process—with nine teachers.
The greenway is the physical link between our three targeted schools: Montlieu Elementary School, Welborn Middle School, and Andrews High School.
Our objective is to link the curriculum need to these projects on the greenway. Well there are three main populations that are served by this project, first of all the kids in the schools get access to a scientist and they get some hands on experience with science. Secondly, the teachers at these three schools get additional exposure to scientific content by their interaction with the graduate student and that enhances their content knowledge in the field.
Guilford County Schools ultimately gets out of this a research scientist in their classroom. How much more fun could that be? And finally the graduate students themselves gain access to real-world experience in communicating difficult science to very diverse audiences.
Hopefully the grad students get a lot out of this. One of the things they may think about doing is how to make this exciting for a 10th grader?
Children of any background are interested in what goes on in the world. Some just haven't always had the chance to see what goes on in the natural world. And so, this access to bugs in the creek, trees in the creek, and birds and bamboo, whatever it might be out there. I think there is enough of a catch and that: "If you build it they will come" kind of thing. If you get them a chance to engage their curiosity and let the natural curiosity of humans take it the rest of the way.
GK-12 Video Transcript, PDF