Voice of Calvary Ministries (VOCM) participated in the “Science Makers” event held March 9, 2018 at the Museum of Natural Science in Jackson. All the exhibits highlighted STEM’s methodology of “Hands On Learning” where the students participated in the learning process by performing experiments.
Perfectly consistent with VOCM’s “West Jackson: Changing the Narrative” initiative our student’s hands on ‘experiment’ involved learning about flight through creating and modifying paper airplanes. Pictured here (sitting center facing the camera) Ms. Debra Raddin is instructing students on the basic steps of making a paper airplane. Ms. Raddin interspersed her instructions with pertinent and thought provoking questions about how planes fly and presented options the students could use to first construct their airplanes and afterward to change the design of their airplane to try to make it fly better. Throughout Ms. Raddin’s time with the students she kept her narrative age appropriate to the group she was speaking with. Students had their choice of 12 different materials they could use to construct their airplanes. As test pilots they flew their airplanes through a Hula-A-Hoop that was suspended 3 feet above the ground. After their maiden test flight and the student’s observations of how successful the test flight was the conversation with them centered on the engineering process of:
“Design > Build > Test > Evaluate Results ( >back to design)…”.
Encouragement was plentifully dispensed: don’t rush – take the time to do all of your work thoughtfully and carefully, ask yourself ‘what item(s) on the plane can I change to make it fly better’, change and test one item at a time and most importantly – don’t give up if your first attempt does not work perfectly (an important life lesson also).
As we implement our “West Jackson: Changing the Narrative” initiative we are thankful for the ongoing opportunities we have to demonstrate and encourage the use of the STEAM ‘hands-on’ learning methodology to the teachers, parents and youth of our community.