December 7th 2017
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. -Benjamin Franklin
If you ask, Danny and Alex will readily tell you that they don’t like to sit down in class and they don’t like worksheets. In Biology class, they are learning about unifying traits of all living things--from single cell bacteria to a great white shark—which could be viewed as a list, or it could literally come to life when seen playing out in living things. Early in November, the class went to the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory where a lot of work is being done with the oyster population on the NJ shore. Mrs. Van Osten, the UrbanPromise Academy science teacher was impressed with how engaged Danny and Alex were during the trip, noting a big difference from the classroom version of these young men. They both shined while making slides of the oysters, using a blade to create hair-thin slices of the specimens, requiring a great deal of precision and focus. Danny shared, “I like to work, I don’t like to sit down.” He enjoyed making oyster bags (bags of oyster shell pieces, maintaining a sustainable habitat and giving oysters substance on which to attach themselves). The students made it into a competition and made 100+ bags! Upon returning from the adventure, Alex shared that he liked the experience because it was “hands on, it wasn’t just working on some paper writing stuff down.”
While we can’t bring the biology class to the research laboratory every day, we were able to connect meaning to the material learned in class. Meaning translates to motivation and motivation to success. Thank you for your support of experiential learning at UrbanPromise and the academic success of our students.