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CAK program seeks parents

Christian Academy of Knoxville’s first-grade classes have started a program they call “Scientist of the Week.”

The program is geared toward supplementing regular science curriculum by actively involving students in presenting science experiments to their classmates.

Students in Paula Henson’s and Staci Kohlbusch’s first- grade classes were encouraged to partner with parents to bring “hands-on” science into the classroom.

“We want to get kids involved early on in science in ways that will ignite enthusiasm and extend our regular science curriculum,” Henson said. “One of our goals is to get parents involved so that children will view exploring science activities as an exciting way to spend time with their families.”

First-grade teachers at CAK want their students to know science is not just another subject we learn about in school. Investigating the wonders of the world through science experiments can be a magical learning experience for the whole family, Henson said.

Each child is assigned a special week to be the class “scientist.”

They take the “Scientist of the Week” bag home well in advance of their presentation. The bag contains a book of simple science experiments to choose from, a lab coat, a pair of safety goggles and a journal containing a lab report form, a page for pictures of their home preparations and a form to report on their results and findings.

Parents serve as assistants on the day of the presentation to the class. An area is set up in the classroom for their special presentation. Students are urged to select experiments that will involve classmates in the scientific process.

“The timing of this project is crucial,” Henson said. “First- graders are like little sponges, eager to ‘soak up’ every bit of information they can possibly absorb. We don’t want to let this window of opportunity pass us by as educators.”


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