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School of Science Students Participate in Education Outreach

During the fall semester of 2014, the Center’s education outreach program was pleased to have students from Windows on Science participating alongside our staff and interns. Windows on Science is a freshmen science course in which science majors participate in order to learn more about potential career paths in science, develop the skills and habits of a successful science student, and participate in service in the Indianapolis community. 

Students in one section of the Windows on Science course, instructed by Dr. Tamiko Porter from the Chemistry department, had the opportunity to meet all of these objectives by delivering science programming to third through sixth grade students in two high need Indianapolis Public Schools, Joyce Kilmer Academy School 69 and James Russell Lowell School 51. IUPUI students experienced the challenges and rewards of teaching science to youth during formal, in school instructional hours.  Using hands-on, investigative curriculum, the elementary students were introduced to scientific concepts and processes while the college students focused on guiding their behavior and conversations around the lessons. 

For many students from Windows on Science, this was their first experience working with children, and first time trying their hand at teaching.  The reaction was overwhelmingly positive.  By stepping into the shoes of an elementary teacher, IUPUI students were forced to think about the building blocks of their upper level science education, and practice clearly explaining scientific concepts to novices. Additionally, students learned about the level of engagement an instructor is seeking during a lesson, which encouraged them to take a closer look at their own behavior as a student.

And, for all of the positive ways the students from Windows on Science grew from their service experience, the students from IPS equally benefited.  Through conversations with current college students, the children gleaned information about what it is like to be in college, what it takes to get there, and how they might one day achieve that for themselves. The Center is grateful for the contribution from Dr. Porter, the Windows on Science class, and the impact that was made through science education.

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