Tuesday, 18 June 2013 09:43

PRSD focus on increasing interest in science classes

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tricia Unreiner, a Grade 4 teacher at Margaret Wooding School in Redcliff, was at the June 22 meeting to tell Prairie Rose School Division trustees more about the science committee which has recently been formed in the division. Tricia Unreiner, a Grade 4 teacher at Margaret Wooding School in Redcliff, was at the June 22 meeting to tell Prairie Rose School Division trustees more about the science committee which has recently been formed in the division. Photo by Rose Sanchez

Officials in Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) are hoping to see more emphasis placed on science in a similar way as it has been placed on fine arts through Kaleidoscope.


Superintendent Doug Nicholls contacted division staff to see if there was interest in getting a group together to help promote science in the division.
“Thankfully six people stepped up to the plate,” he told board trustees at the June 11 regular meeting.
A meeting was held in May where those individuals could throw ideas around and discuss how to increase participation and excitement about science in the schools in the division.
Tricia Unreiner, a Grade 4 teacher at Margaret Wooding School in Redcliff, presented the initial work of that committee to the board at the meeting.
She said there are already a lot of successes in the division from the science fairs taking place in the schools to the work in the classrooms. Staff also try to share their materials as best they can.
Challenges for science teachers include the learning curve Grade 3 students can face as they enter Grade 4 and have to produce a more detailed science project for science fairs.
“We also talked about the remoteness and vastness of the division and the storage of materials and how to share them,” said Unreiner.
She added science is sometimes edged out by Math or English, but it is a core subject and a lot of the other disciplines, such as writing, can be used in science.
Other challenges include safety, the ability to do hands-on experiments, costs of materials and the fact more girls are interested in science than boys.
The committee came up with three goals for the coming school year. They are:
• To promote science through strong leadership and collaboration with each other and the communities;
• To foster a passion in science through opportunities modeled by passionate teachers;
• To increase science-related opportunities for students by actively seeking alternative funding avenues and partnerships.
Ideas to accomplish these goals were also discussed including holding a science job fair so students can see science-based careers; having a lead science teacher in each school; holding a science forum; using technology for virtual field trips and support for science fairs.
“I’m fascinated by how far this has come from what was just an idea,” said Trustee Arnold Frank.
Nicholls pointed out the board may need to give the science committee some seed funding, much like it did for the fine-arts committee when it was trying to get Kaleidoscope off the ground.
“It’s like any other initiative, you have to have your champions,” he said. “This too shall grow if you continue to get the right people around the table who are champions, as you have done with fine arts.”

Read 1550 times
Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

More Alberta News...