Nontraditional Science Lessons and Knowledge Retention of Children

Teachers are often at a disadvantage when trying to teach children who have a variety of learning strengths and weaknesses. People learn in different ways, whether it’s auditory, visual, hands-on, or a combination. The goal of Alyson’s project was to teach children in grades 3-5 about the scientific method through nontraditional methods and have them retain that knowledge long-term. Alyson partnered with Flickinger Learning Center, based in Muscatine, Iowa, over a period of severa​​l months. Alyson worked with children who were recognized as needing additional help outside of the traditional classroom setting. The children ran experiments, interactive worksheets, games and activities designed to meet the needs of their different learning styles. They were exposed to the scientific method repeatedly and showed marked improvement from their baseline surveys. One end benefit of Alyson’s project was to prepare children for participating in the local Science Fair. Alyson will be able to use data collected from this project to work with the Muscatine Community School District’s School Improvement Advisory Committee who is also partnering with University of Iowa. In the end, the children Alyson had the privilege to work with will benefit from the program as well as future classroom children within the Muscatine School District. 

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Author Bio(s): 
Alyson Glynn is a student at UI majoring in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Geography. Her main areas of focus are sustainability, education, wildlife preservation, and non-profit organizations. Eventually, she would like to work for the “little guy” and help preserve the same world she knows for her two sons. She enjoys working with children, teaching them about the environment, and getting them excited about STEM fields. She spends her free time reading anything she can get her hands on and doing volunteer work for local nonprofits. Alyson's motto in life is to leave the world a better place than when she arrived.
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