Johnston Elementary 2nd graders recently enjoyed a day long visit at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.  According to their website, the Center is a collaborative effort between USC Aiken, business, industry, and schools in the CSRA.  It provides programs to school students who are interested in effecting change in science and math.  The hands-on approach helps participants experience all things science and math and includes the fun of discovery.

While in attendance, approximately 45 2nd graders participated in two Discovery Programs.  The first, “Animals with Backbones”, reinforced the skills students had learned in class.  These included how to classify fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals according to their physical characteristics. They observed a variety of animals including an owl, Riley, which has lived at the Center since it was found with a broken wing several years ago.

The second program, “Magnets and Motions”, was the favorite according to Kimberly Rowe, 2nd grade teacher.  She stated, “The entire presentation was completely inline with the state standards and our students loved it.  They had the opportunity to predict, sort, test, and classify objects that were magnetic and non-magnetic. It was the perfect introduction to what we will be covering after Spring Break.”

In order to determine properties of magnetism, students used toys and activities that were hands-on as well as fun.  Students then could demonstrate how the poles of magnets would repel or attract. The program also included video clips which further explained magnets and how they work.

Students’ reactions to the day varied.  Perla Gallegos Alvarez, “I liked everything but the owl scared me when it started to fly.”  Dalton Lewis, “I thought the animals were cool.  I enjoyed being with my friends. I learned the human back has 33 vertebrae.”  Paetyn Edwards agreed about the owl, “The owl flew all around the room. During the magnet lesson I learned like poles repel and opposite poles attract.  We got to use magnets to make a toy car move.  You have to use a south pole and a south pole or a north pole and a north pole.”  Johnston Elementary continues to enrich its learners through field trips and programs offered by post secondary institutions.

2nd grade students during the hands on activities with animals and magnets:

Bottom:  Kai’anna Buchanan, Paetyn Crouch, Carl Widell, Kevon Jones, Joseph Pack, Josh Hernandez, Taylor Collins

Middle:  Perla Alvarez-Gallegos, Areli Vazquez-Guervara, Taniya Minick, Bailey English, Kenya Lee

Top: Dalton Lewis, Nathaniel Pickeral, Mar’Kylin Dukes, Priston Blocker, Armani Coleman, Jasmine Barnes, Aiyana Odum, Precious Campbell, TaShaun Wright, Judah McClendon, Josh McClendon, Dayton Day, Dantavious Lowe