(posted on Thursday, September 27, 2018)
SPE’s PlastiVan® is an exciting way to teach high school and middle school students about polymer science and about how chemistry affects their lives. Can you teach that to elementary students, who don’t know about chemical bonds and polymers but whose lives are full of wonder and promise? Akron ACS and Akron SPE wondered that too and we will bring a PlastiVan-based Ohio science curriculum to 3rd through 5th graders with the support of ACS’s Innovative Project Grants program.
What’s different? The students are much younger. The curriculum is written for their grade levels and for Ohio standards for their grades. Two respected STEM educators, Mr. John Fellenstein at Akron University’s Global Polymer Academy and Dr. Missi Zender-Sakach at Summit Educational Service Center, have each written lesson plans using PlastiVan® for these grades. Two elementary schools will evaluate the new lesson plans: Akron’s new iPromise school and Nolley Elementary in Manchester Local Schools.
PlastiVan® visits are all-school events; everyone gets into the spirit. Each class and each teacher also get a hands-on period of instruction with Mr. Fellenstein. The school can use that lesson plan itself, and teachers and students will be asked for their comments on the lesson. Volunteers helping at a visit will be able to spread a good teaching lesson throughout the STEM community.
Visits will be scheduled during the Fall 2018 semester. We will be inviting volunteers to help and learn when the schedule is set. More details will follow!