Hands-On Science Lessons In Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Fourth graders at McNichols Plaza Elementary were really getting into their science lessons Thursday morning.

They talked about animal and plant cells, learned to extract DNA from strawberries, and checked out all kinds of stuff under microscopes.

"Human blood, and dog stomach, very awkward!" said Avah Boock, a fourth grader at the school.

"I've gotten to see like every single thing, but the dog skeleton is my favorite," said student Xzavion Edmonds.

The hands-on lessons came from University of Scranton students, many of them majoring in biology, as part of an ongoing partnership between the university and the Scranton School District.

"I was never involved in anything, even in grade school. Nobody ever came to my grade school or even my high school like this, so I think it's a really great opportunity for the kids,” said University of Scranton student Kristina Thomas.

"Every time you come here, you also learn something from the kids. It's awesome to see how much they learn from you,” said University student Brittany Thomas.

The goal of the partnership introducing STEAM-based education to kids.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

"We really want to involve the local elementary students and get them involved in science very early on. These kinds of activities are very hands-on. We really encourage the kids to participate in the process of science,” said Dr. George Gomez of the University of Scranton.

As part of the program, the University of Scranton students and professors visit schools three times a year and the elementary students visit the University of Scranton once.

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