Research and Design Students Partner with Park Elementary

Abby Gruner, Editor

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NCHS sophomores in Scientific research and Design partnered with third graders from Park Elementary during the week of September 17th to perform a science experiment. Each class period of Scientific Research and Design walked over to Park Elementary during their  class period and interacted with the third graders while performing an experiment. The experiment entailed assigning each of the third graders a number and having them squeeze and rub a damp piece of bread then place it in a plastic bag. Then the bags with the bread were left in a warm dark area for the sophomores to observe each class period and document the growth of mold and bacteria. Each third grader performed the experiment multiple times over the day with different sophomores from each of the class periods. With the elementary students numbered, NC students were able to compare the amount of bacteria grown at different times of the day from the same third grader and figure out when their hands are dirtiest. It turned out that the kids’ hands were most dirty around noon.

Mrs. Jeneen Hill, the Scientific Research and Design teacher, was the main orchestrater of this experience. Hill said that she came across the bread mold experiment over the summer and thought it would be beneficial to get younger kids involved because, “Elementary kids glorify, or look up to high school kids, so any time high school kids can go and work with elementary kids it’s a good opportunity.” Gabriella Hagler, one of the many sophomores that participated in this experiment, recognized this, as she said her favorite part of the experience was seeing that the third graders were, “Super excited to have us (her Scientific Research and Design class) there.”

Hill also pointed out that another reason it can be fun for high schoolers to go back to an elementary school and spend time with the students there is that the high schoolers are reminded of what is was like back in elementary school. Kyleigh Petty, another 10th grader, said that while she was at Park she remembered what it was like to be an elementary student so much she even, “wanted to go to recess.” Some sophomores, such as Greg Saul, even found that they had things in common with the third graders. While talking to the third grader he was paired with, Saul, who played Blades soccer for nine years, found that the third grade girl he was working with was currently on a Blades team. Saul said, “It was very cool to be able to talk about soccer with her.”

All the sophomores interviewed agreed that getting to perform the experiment with the third graders added a special element that made it more worthwhile than if they had done it with only their classmates. The special element added, as explained by Hill, is “W

Student Experiment

Abby Gruner
Smiles All Around:
Sophomores Izabel Romfo, Kyleigh Petty and their third grade partners from Park Elementary enjoying their time working together on a science experiment. Every block of Scientific Research and design performed an experiment with the third graders over the week of September 17th.

Research and Design Experiment

Abby Gruner
Harlee Tille works with her third grade partner during the Research and Design experiment on the mold process. She is giving him a sticker for easier identification.

orking with young kids teaches students things (concepts) that can’t be taught in textbooks.”