Small step for students, giant leap toward knowledge

Reporting to Mission Control on their arrival, University Avenue ACES Elementary School students and their families launched a Mathematical Mission Nov. 12.

Playing Domino Parking Lot, Kendall Isaacson helps her little brother, Jared, figure out where to place the domino. The game was part of the children’s Mathematical Mission assignments and had to be recorded in their mission log in order for a chance to win a prize. Photo by Sue Austreng

Playing Domino Parking Lot, Kendall Isaacson helps her little brother, Jared, figure out where to place the domino. The game was part of the children’s Mathematical Mission assignments and had to be recorded in their mission log in order for a chance to win a prize. Photo by Sue Austreng

Signing in and receiving their mission log, students carried out their assignments, gearing up at Estimation Station, checking in on cyberspace with Everyday Mathematics, taking a moon walk to the tune of “Star Trek,” recording research results on a giant graph and, of course, playing a few games during down time.

It was one small step for students, one giant leap toward greater knowledge and understanding of all things math and science related.

“We always tie math and science into every family night,” said math recovery teacher Kelly Hall as students and families explored various classrooms and discovered learning fun along the way.

Math night at University Avenue came just four days before a family field trip to the University of Minnesota. All told, 28 of University Avenue’s school families traveled to the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus for that day-long Saturday field trip.

“It was a very busy event but our families had a great time,” said Kate Watson, curriculum integrator at the elementary school. “Each student boarded the bus (for the ride home) with bridges they built with toothpicks and marshmallows, or UV color changing bracelets, or other neat science projects they created.”

According to Watson, the field trip adventure enabled her “to make some neat connections with some STEM-based clubs on campus that might want to work with our building to form some sort of enrichment or outreach programs with our students and the college kids.”

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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