Education Evolutions

Non-school hours programming offers academic enrichment to DC students

Lana’s non-school hours programming provides students with enrichment activities that are motivating and engaging.

Student voice is crucial in 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs as it empowers students to take ownership of their learning experiences. When students have a say in the activities, projects, and topics covered in these programs, they feel more motivated to participate. This is especially important because we are asking students to engage in non-school hours programming. Additionally, student voice promotes a sense of belonging and community, as students feel that their opinions and ideas are valued. We take this to heart!

When in doubt, slime it out!

The students at Cardozo High School had been asking to make slime for over a month so we decided to roll with it! Mathematics is often not seen as a fun subject, but what if it could be combined with a hands-on activity like making slime? This creative approach not only engaged the students but also allowed them to see math in a new light. Thus, making it more relatable and enjoyable.

First, we practiced converting units. Students converted a year to seconds, miles per hour to meters per second, and pounds to kilograms. The students then used the same process to convert the units of the slime recipe. When the students had their recipe finished, they got to come up and get their ingredients based on what they had converted.

Making slime can also be a multi-disciplinary activity. Students explored different properties of their slime and compared it to all the other slime they made. Students answered four questions about their slime:

  1. Can it bounce?
  2. Can it be stretched without breaking?
  3. Can it hold its shape?
  4. Does it leave a sticky mess on your hands?

Then they graphed the class results on a bar graph. Students also used the slime to explore different hypotheses for three questions:

  1. How far will your slime stretch (in inches)?
  2. Whose slime will stretch the furthest (in inches)?
  3. Whose slime weighs the most (in pounds)?

Incorporating slime-making into the curriculum also caters to different learning styles. Visual and kinesthetic learners can benefit from the hands-on nature of the activity, while auditory learners can engage in discussions about the math and science concepts involved. This inclusivity can help create a more dynamic and effective learning environment.

It was amazing to witness the willingness of the students to learn math and write hypotheses so that they could make slime! Integrating math with activities like making slime can transform the way students perceive and engage with the subject. By making math fun and relevant to their lives, students are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards it and excel in their mathematical abilities.

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