One of our big projects in the 2014-15 year has been participation in an after-school science program that is part of the Community Learning Center (CLC) at Turtle Creek Elementary School in Delavan. Science outreach staff go to the school on Monday evenings to work with the kids in CLC. We just finished up our time with Kindergarten – 2nd graders, and are meeting with the 3rd – 5th graders for the second semester.
Working with the CLC kids has been a lot of fun so far! For our K-2 programming, our weekly activity always centered around a book on the scientific theme of the week – sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction. We used the book to set the stage and then did hands-on activities in small groups. At the end of each session, the students got a note to share with parents and guardians that highlighted the book as well as the scientific activity that we did. Communication was sent home in both English and Spanish, and we hope that this encouraged families to talk about the science together. At the end of first semester, we said goodbye to the K-2 group. They gave us thank you cards, with drawings of their favorite activities!
Many of these activities (and the associated books) can be tailored to reach any elementary age audience. The activities are self-contained and could be done (by teachers or outreach staff) within a science class during the school day as well!
Last month, UW-Whitewater Science Outreach hosted a “Passport to Science” event for kids and families. The event was part of the statewide Wisconsin Science Festival, and we had a great turn-out. About 100 people came to Upham Hall on Saturday, October 18 for research demonstrations, tours, and hands-on activities. We had the help of 7 UW-W faculty/staff members and 18 undergraduates at the Passport to Science event. Thanks so much to everyone from UW-Whitewater and to everyone who attended the event and made it a success!
This was a fun event for us in the Science Outreach group. It was purposefully scheduled on a Saturday so that parents or grandparents (or others!) could come with their kids to experience the science together. Many of our events occur during the week, which works well for school field trips or in-class visits, but it was especially fun to see families enjoying our event together.
Elementary and middle school students came to campus and received a blank “passport” detailing all of the different activities, which included greenhouse and observatory open houses, research highlights from UW-W faculty and hands-on activities related to glaciers, water resources, rocks and minerals, tree rings, and leaves.Each activity received a stamp, and students were able to keep track of what they had seen and done along the way. Middle school students really enjoyed the research demonstrations by physics and biology faculty. The younger students especially liked the water resources and tree ring activities, but each activity was mentioned as a favorite by at least one student, which is a great sign!
This event was advertised in local papers (Daily Jefferson County Union and Janesville Gazette), with flyers distributed in local schools, and online at our Facebook site. If you missed it this year, like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with upcoming events from our program!
We are happy to be reinstating this science outreach blog at UW-Whitewater! This will be a place for some more detailed descriptions of specific events or programming that we are working on here in the outreach office. Our Facebook page will be a venue for more frequent event advertising and brief science highlights, and many other more permanent resources are available on our primary UW-W Science Outreach webpage. Please like us on Facebook and check back here for a variety of ways to get information about our program!
Our latest news is the addition of a new Science Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Anna Courtier. Anna has a BS in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She will support K-12 students and teachers with science programming, as well as UW-W undergraduates and faculty with outreach and community activities. Welcome to Anna, and welcome back to our blog readers! We hope to see many of you online and in person at events throughout the year!
On April 24th UW-Whitewater Science Outreach and Whitewater High School National Honor Society teamed up to bring a Family Science Night to Whitewater! UWW Faculty and Students prepared multiple different activities ranging from weather and climate to human anatomy all with the help of the high school staff and students! It was a great success and everybody found something that interested them! From bioloogy and chemistry to geography and physics, we had it all!!
Water Filtration Activity
Kids making Slime!
Learning about weather instruments
The Whitewater High School National Honor Society and UW-Whitewater Science Outreach are teaming to bring Family Science Night to Whitewater on April 24th from 5-8pm in the Whitewater High School gym! This fun, hands-on night of science is free and open to all students Pre-K through 12th grades and their families. We hope to see you there!
Our newest program, Science Detectives Camp, is a 3-day summer day camp aimed at children entering 3-8th grades in the fall of 2013. The first two days of the camp will feature 1/2 day hands-on workshops in each of the following science disciplines: biology, chemistry, geography, and physics. The third day is a full day of your child’s favorite science! For more information or to register, visit this site: http://www.uww.edu/conteduc/camps/othercamps/detectives.php.
Space is limited so register now to ensure your child has his or her spot reserved!
UWW Science Outreach hosted a lot of programs and activities this past fall. Below is a recap of all the events and look forward to seeing them again next year!
- Science Discovery Day: The four science departments in Upham Hall got to show off their stuff as community members and students from both local and surrounding communities got to tour the facilities. Not only did they get a tour but they also got to participate in hands on activities, demonstrations, tour the research labs, and learn about some of the great programs UWW has to offer like the Undergraduate Research Program! No matter what you were interested in we had something that you would have enjoyed! Keep you eyes peeled because we will have another next fall!
Janesville GIS Day: Science Outreach Coordinator Alisa Hass and Assistant Director of Pangea Studios Alvin Rentsch traveled to Janesville Middle School with student Erin Olshefski and Brandon Bockrath to teach the students about GIS. They did a hands on activity by showing them how they can learn about National Parks using GIS.
Mukwonago High School: High School students from Mukwonago took a field trip to our campus and did a GIS activity using handheld GPS units. They got hands on experience, working outside and learned how to import those data points using GIS to make a map. Afterwords they got to sit down and talk with undergraduate students to ask questions about college.
- Evansville High School: Evansville traveled to our campus to do a chemistry spectrometer lab with Professors Dr. John Ejnik and Dr. Kim Naber. These students got to experience upper level chemistry labs as well as learn more about the opportunities that UWW has to offer. Five UWW undergraduate students shared their experiences as science majors at UWW with the students at the end of the day.
- UWW Greenhouse Open House: The Biology Department and Science Outreach teamed up to put on an Open House to show off the newly expanded Greenhouse. It housed more than 100 plants, some of which we donated by organizations and students. Student volunteers and information were set up all over the greenhouse to educate the staff and students about the plants as they walked through the greenhouse.
- Chemistry Demonstrations: The UWW chemistry department likes to put on chemistry demonstrations to show off the cool things that you can do with chemicals. This is open to all ages and is not only fun but educational as well. Whitewater Middle School got to come to one of these demonstrations and had a blast!
- Dendrochronology with Whitewater High School: Students from an advanced ecology class offered at Whitewater High School teamed up with Science Outreach to gain hands on experience in dendrochronology. The students came to campus and got to take actual tree cores for a project they were working on in class. Not only did the students get to use the equipment but Petra Vande Zande (Biology teacher at the High School) got to point out real life examples of what she was teaching in her class to the students.
Join us September 29th for our Greenhouse Open House in the first floor of Upham Hall! Self guided tours run from 9:30-11am and 11:45am-2pm. Master Gardener Volunteer, Renata Bitoy will speak at 11am on vermicompost, edible weeds, and native plants. We hope to see you there!
Open House Flyer