Grant Proposal Could Bring 8 Graduate Students to Guilford Co. Schools

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[Transforming Minds in a Transitioning Community, Graduates in GK-12 Education (GK-12) is] a joint project that places graduate students, known as “resident scientists,” in three Guilford County schools has had so much success that the district and its partner plan to use the same model in their next project.

GCS and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will seek a grant from the National Science Foundation that would provide resident scientists to eight middle schools.

The current program brings graduate students into classrooms at Montlieu Academy, Welborn Academy and Andrews High School, where a resident scientist said it’s a collaboration.

“We basically work together and make lesson plans and activities to get the kids interested in science,” said Kristy King, a UNCG Ph.D. student.

Teachers said the real world experience resident scientists bring to the classroom was inspiring their students.

“They see that it’s not just a lab coat,” said Jessica Graves, who teaches biology, anatomy and physiology at Andrew. “They see that these are people that are intense or they’re in the creeks, they’re in the trenches, and for me that makes a big difference with my kids and it’s not just a foreign concept that I’m talking about.”

Students agreed.

“I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but now I think I want to be an ecologist because I don’t just want to take care of the animals,” said Alexia McDonald. “I want to observe them, see what their habits are and why they do certain things.”

“I like doing hands-on stuff and with her we do a lot of hands-on, like we go to the Greenway,” said Jordan Quick.

A new grant would continue to provide resident scientists to Welborn Academy and to seven other middle schools during the 2016-2017 school year including Northeast Middle, Aycock Middle, Jackson Middle, Allen Middle, Ferndale Middle, Hairston Middle and Easter Middle.

The principal at Andrews said it would be an important shift.

“If we can stimulate the minds of our youngsters at an early age, as early as elementary on through middle school, then on here at high school it only enhances what we’re trying to do to get students to think about careers in science or math or engineering, and also promote that partnership with our local universities,” said Rodney Wilds.

Reposted from Time Warner Cable News
Written by Ed Scannell

education, grants, STEM education