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Schrader Center “REACHes” Out to Ohio County 5th Grade Students

Students at Madison Elementary creating "Madison Square Garden" with the help of Schrader Center educator, Greg Moore

Through a grant funded by the  JP Morgan Chase Foundation, the Schrader Center is “REACHing” out to 5th grade students in Ohio County schools. The REACH grant (Resources for Environment, Arts, Cultural and Humanities) is designed to enhance or fulfill school’s curriculum objectives while focusing on Oglebay Institute’s five areas of discipline: environmental education, dance, museums, performing and visual arts. Eight Ohio County elementary schools are participating in REACH programming including Ritchie, Steenrod, Warwood, West Liberty, Bethlehem, Woodsdale, Elm Grove and Madison Elementary Schools.

Specifically, the Schrader Center has tasked its educators with increasing the amount of hands-on science in Ohio County elementary schools and building a connection between OI staff, classroom teachers and students.

“As a science and natural world educator, it’s quite fulfilling to be able to bring hands-on learning into the classroom and see the excitement as the students are able peer through a microscope or dissect the parts of a flower,” says Robin Lee, M.A., Education Program Coordinator at the Schrader Center. “And, part of the success of the REACH program is that we interwine native wildlife and nature with the overarching themes of the science curriculum that coincides with the teacher’s and school’s objectives.”

Over the course of eight weekly visits to Ohio County elementary schools, the Schrader Center’s educators provide hands-on science lessons covering topics such as earth cycles and processes; decomposers, producers and soil; predators and carnivores; and, the adaptations of endangered species. A pretest is conducted at the beginning of the series, and a post-test is administered at the end to track the students’ progress. 

“I love that the lessons are related to the children’s lives. They are learning scientific concepts in a way that’s specific to them and are realizing that science is all around them,” says an Elm Grove Elementary 5th grade teacher.

“Mrs. Lee, I’m going to miss you and you are the best science teacher ever!” says Chase from Ritchie Elementary School. “I can’t believe it’s the last day. Your science projects are so fun, and you taught us a lot in just eight days.”

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2 Responses

  1. Love the integrated assessment component; should be some great learning for OI in there too!

  2. Thanks, Jesse! We’re looking forward to compiling the results for use in future program development.

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