Posted in Arts Experiences, GAP News, Western Line School District

Science Fun Day!

Whoa this is exciting! On September 22 and 23rd, the Western Line Public School District will be hosting Dr. John Hunt’s widely acclaimed Science Fun Day for their 3rd-6th grade students. This is the first time that Dr. Hunt will be presenting at a public school in the Mississippi Delta and we are SO thrilled to have him! Learn more about Science Fun Day after the jump!

Think science has to be boring? Not when you experience it like this. And we’re not talking some volcano eruption with baking soda and food coloring. This is more. Much more! We’re talking interactive, hands-on learning involving children and parents. Learning designed to have opposite predictive outcomes, prompting questions and explanations. Because it’s more than thinking – it’s experiencing!

Science Fun Day will show your students the fun side of science. With more than 105 activities designed to surprise, students in grades 3-8 will increase their knowledge of scientific principles through these parent-taught, discrepant events during a Science Fun Day.

In 1996 when Dr. John Hunt was teaching eighth grade science at Ramstein Jr. High, Ramstein, Germany (DoDDS), he used a daily discrepant event to get students engaged in learning. These students shared what they had learned in class with their families. A group of their third grade siblings approached him and asked if they could also do some of these discrepant events. He took his eighth grade students to their school gym and conducted a Science Fun Day for them.

For this event an eighth grader designed a Science Fun Day T-shirt. The eighth graders wore these yellow and green T-shirts at the Science Fun Day. Fifty eighth grade students taught 240 third grade students science discrepant events that day. It was a huge success! This was the beginning of Science Fun Day!

In 1997 when Dr. Hunt was appointed Science Coordinator for Kaiserslautern ISD, which included 18 elementary schools, he conducted many Science Fun Days in these schools over the next five years using military parent volunteers to teach students in grades 3-8.

In 2001, Dr. Hunt moved to Mississippi, started teaching at Mississippi College taking the Science Fun Day concept with him. Since that time, he and his wife Catherine have conducted 12-17 Science Fun Days per year and have taught 4,000+ parents who have in-turn taught 18,000+ students physical science concepts in a Science Fun Day setting.

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The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.