Science Day, according to Mount Airy High School AP biology teacher Michael Bodnar, is just what it is — and entire day of learning science for students at J.J. Jones Intermediate taught by his students at Mount Airy.
On Friday, Jones students circulated between six classrooms where the high school students led them in interactive and hands-on activities that enriched their science knowledge.
A total of 57 Mount Airy High School students served as student teachers for the Jones’ students. This is the second year Science Day has been held at Jones. It was held 10 years prior to that at Tharrington Primary.
“They do science all day with hands-on activities. There is a lot of interaction between them (Jones’ students) and my kids,” said Bodnar.
The most common comment from his students is they were exhausted after teaching all day.
“I don’t think they realized how time consuming and energy is involved in teaching,” said Bodnar. “This gives them perspective on how teaching is hard work.”
Before the student teachers ventured out to teach for the first time, high school faculty looked at the science courses at the school and decided on topics on which the students can help expand and develop. Bodnar puts the topic on the chalkboard and student groups get to volunteer what they want to teach and decide on activities that will get students involved.
He said what they teach correlates with the essential standards curriculum that are actually taught in the classroom.
Third-grader Janson Dezern said she thinks the program is “awesome.”
“My favorite thing was when we mixed up all that stuff for the earth’s crust,” said Dezern.
Jones third-grade teacher Melissa Martin likes what she sees happening with students in the classroom, even if she feels out of place observing and not teaching for a day.
“Some of the activities are an overview of skills we have done and some are a good introduction to what we will be teaching,” Martin said.
She likes the new skills students learn that help them with the common core content in the courses.
“This is really new for me because I’m just standing and watching,” said Martin. “I love to see the interaction between students and the children. My students know more about some subjects than I knew they did and we haven’t taught this to them yet.”
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