The Research Triangle Park

Science Days at Y. E. Smith Elementary

By Jan 11, 2017

A Day of Learning and Fun at Y. E. Smith Elementary

December 15th was Science Day at Y. E. Smith Elementary and the students were thrilled to see what exciting activities they’re going to participate in!  Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director of STEM Outreach Kelly Witter plans an event known as “EPA Science Day” at a local school in Durham to engage students in numerous activities that will allow them learn more about protecting the environment. With the help of volunteers from the EPA, as well as some other RTP companies, this event was a successful one. In all, over 20 volunteers helped out with activities on the Y. E. Smith Science Day.

The US2020 RTP VISTAs Chichi, Sonya and I were particularly excited about Science Day because this was our first time going into a classroom to help out with a STEM outreach program. There were multiple activity topics such as Trash Talk, Watts Up with Energy, Flower Power and other fun topics especially my favorite- which was reading The LORAX (by Dr. Seuss) to kindergartners! Sonya and Chichi engaged 3rd grade students with a Trash Talk lesson which was fun presentation about keeping the environment clean followed by fun hands on activities. The students had the opportunity to sort a bag of items into trash, compost, recycle or reuse piles. Guess what? After the sorting, nothing was put into the trash pile! Hopefully with this activity, these students have learnt that not all items belong in the trash can. Sonya and Chichi loved the Trash Talk session, and so did the students.

I had the opportunity to read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, to 3 groups of kindergarten students.  I absolutely enjoyed doing this!  Why wouldn’t I? The facial expressions, the numerous questions, and the appreciation all made this experience an unforgettable one for me.  After my reading session, I like to believe the students had a basic understanding of keeping our environment clean by not cutting down trees and polluting the air and waters. It’s never too early to be an advocate for a cleaner environment.

After all sessions were over, students from Ms. Taylor Dayton’s 3rd grade class wrote down some things learnt from the different sessions. Below are a few reflections from the students:

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