Elementary Pilot Program

teachers on Life Walk on the Ross Terrace
 
Understanding science and engineering principles and practices is essential for every American citizen and science learning must be a focus at all levels of education. We argue, however, that students’ experiences in elementary school science may play a pivotal role in developing students’ scientific thinking skills and positive attitude toward pursuing science in the future.

The transformative work being done by Urban Advantage teachers in their middle school classrooms across the five boroughs inspired the UA team to extend this work down into the elementary schools in the city. The Elementary Pilot is designed to address the pressing need for dramatically improved STEM literacy among elementary school students and to equip teachers of grades 3, 4, and 5 with the tools, skills, and techniques to engage students effectively in STEM learning. It puts greater emphasis on the role of literacy in the science classroom and investigations in the form of whole class explorations of science phenomena from the natural world.

planting demonstration
 
facilitator working with teachers
 

We seek to expand our current pilot into a fully-fledged program open to all schools in the near future. This expansion would allow us to work with more schools and teachers across the five boroughs to increase the participation of students in STEM learning experiences and begin to create a runway for children leading up into their middle school years.

“Science can come from one question a student has. Then it has meaning for them.”

“Teaching science isn’t linear.”
-participants from the 2016-2017 pilot year

planting demonstration
 
facilitator working with teachers