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Teachers provide science lesson to board

March 28, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Consolidated School Corporation’s Board of School Trustees were treated to a comprehensive presentation on science as it’s taught to elementary school students corporation-wide.
At the board’s regular school board meeting March 21, a contingent of science teachers representing several elementary schools in the district, gave a slide show and presentation called Science in the WCCS Elementary Schools.
Nancy Bridegam started the presentation off by discussing textbooks and the curriculum.
Bridegam, a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Raber Elementary School, said the corporation’s science program must meet state standards.
She added that those standards are broken down into six categories:
• The Nature of Science and Technology
• Scientific Thinking
• The Physical Setting
• The Living Environment
• The Mathematical World
• Common Themes
“Primary science units are built upon the standards using a variety of resources,” Bridegam said.
She added that textbooks are used to supplement the curriculum at the intermediate level.
By fourth grade, science skills are put to the test when the students participate in the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP).
Northern Heights first-grade teacher Shelby Longenbaugh discussed “process skills” during the presentation.
“These are skills the scientists in the real world use every day,” Longenbaugh said.
Process skills, according to Longenbaugh, consist of observation, measuring, inferring, classifying, predicting and communicating.
“Scientists have to be very good at communicating their results or their work is for nothing,” she said.
Teri Harmon, a fourth-grade teacher at Coesse Elementary School, briefed the board on integrating other subjects into the study of science, such as reading, math, writing and related arts.
Little Turtle fifth-grade teacher Jessica Weidner discussed science enrichment, which she said provides “students with an incentive for academic excellence.”
Weidner said enrichment gives the subject more meaning for students.
“Enrichment is what makes science come alive,” she said.
The presentation given to the board also included a report on community resources used by corporation teachers, including a science fair, trips to Fort Wayne’s Science Central and the children’s zoo as well as trips to visit the local REMC. (Rural Electric Membership Corporation) and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) training to learn about body systems.
According to a presentation slide displayed for the board, science provides a “rewarding experience for intellectual performance, and raises students’ academic expectations by focusing on higher thinking scientific skills based on state science standards.”
The board was also treated to a song dedicated to the three main types of rock which was sung by Coesse students Evin Parker, Grace Cotter and Brooke Ball.

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