Program kick-starts science education

March 14, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source: Christina Vanoverbeke, East Valley Tribune] — Margaret Floyd lifts a brown shiny cockroach out of its plastic temporary home and lets it crawl around on her hand, causing first-grader Henry Sua-rez to gasp, his eyes widening. “La cucaracha,” he says. Suarez and his classmates spend the next few minutes holding a variety of critters brought from home by Floyd to enhance this life science lesson a bearded dragon, a snake and various insects in their containers. After some exploration, the students meet Floyd on a patch of carpet at the front of the room to talk about what they’ve learned. “Snakes are soft,” says one student. “When tortoises are scared, they pee,” says another. Floyd listens to all of their answers, and gently steers the conversation to the topic of habitat, the lesson of the day.

But Floyd is not a teacher at Galveston Elementary School in Chandler. She is a volunteer, part of a program that turns Intel employees into educators helping students in science. The mentoring program is just one way the Chandler Unified School District is supplementing its science programs and trying to generate excitement with students in the subject. People are taking an interest in math and science at a state level in Arizona, saying that jobs in the fields of engineering and technology are the way to make our economy strong in the future. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]