Pass by the Science Building on any Saturday morning through the academic year, and you may find elementary-aged kids hopping through the halls like frogs or collecting water samples outside. Those children are participating in an EKU College of Science initiative called Saturday Morning Science.
Saturday Morning Science is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-outreach program for elementary students that allows them to explore STEM-related topics through interactive, hands-on activities. Coordinated by the Division of Natural Areas, the program engages children in exciting topics in the physical and natural world and allows them to practice their skills of observation, experimentation and critical thinking by becoming young scientists.
A regular at Saturday Morning Science, nine-year-old Clare Wood said, “Saturday Morning Science is fun and you also get to learn things.” Clare’s father, Dr. Bradford Wood, professor of history at EKU commented, “Our daughter has learned much more about science than she would ever learn from just her school curriculum and she has enjoyed it.” Her mother, Dr. Susan Kroeg, professor of English, added, “It’s a great hands-on educational opportunity that shows kids that learning about science can be fun.”
Twelve sessions are held each year between November and March and each session focuses on a different science theme. During the 2019 fall semester themes included “‘Cell’-ebrated Science,” “Herpetology is Ribbeting,” and “Mammal Madness.” Spring semester themes include astronomy, engineering and geography. Each lesson is aligned with Kentucky Science Standards and is designed to enhance the science and math materials students learn in school.
The program is coordinated by Dr. Kelly Watson, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences and associate director of environmental education and outreach for the Division of Natural Areas. “Our goal is to make learning science fun for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade,” Dr. Watson explains. “We want kids from an early age to have a positive attitude toward science and math by creating an environment where science is interesting, fun and welcoming.”
The cost of the activity is $20 per child, per session with the purchase of a discount card. The funds raised through the program are used to support scholarships for students participating in the International Environmental Service Learning program through EKU.
Find out more about Saturday Morning Science, including spring semester dates and themes.