This February, the students of Austin College and Career Academy and Michele Clark came together to break down the basics of science! On Monday, the new cohort came together and quickly befriended each other. Students played a mixture of memory and physical games to get to know each other better. Students also bonded discussing their hopes for the program including their favorite experiments from last semester. Some students looked forward to experiments with bacteria and plants. Others are excited to see the field trips we will be going on later in the year.
While discussing what an “environment” is, the “conditions by which one is surrounded,” one of the most exciting topics brought up during our discussion was our local environment. Students focused on how their own strategies of dealing with their environment, the west side of Chicago, correlated with the behaviors of plants and animals.” Plants need resources to grow, and so do students” pointed out one student. Another student pointed out how animals need to find safe spaces to survive, and how their school is that for many. Using this energy, students began developing plans on how to improve the environment they live in. Even small improvements like recycling, gardening, and a positive attitude can improve the world bit by bit.
Tuesday, students focused on the scientific process we will be using this whole semester. We studied the ways scientists use the scientific method (hypothesis/test/data/results). We also developed small experiments to learn more about each other.
On Wednesday, students began deep diving into one of the most important concepts in life, natural selection. Students learned how the things that make us different, like skin color, hair texture, face shape and even height are not just a roll of the dice. Instead, these features allowed our ancestors to survive in their native lands. It’s exciting to think how your genes might have been great to survive in the stone age!
Written By: Kyle Reid