The new science lab at Incline Elementary School is bursting with activity, excitement and experimentation. From the moment you walk into the lab, you will be pleasantly surprised by the degree of enthusiasm emanating from the students. Fourth graders peer at diatoms through microscopes with focused attention, fifth graders curiously test the affects of temperature on air molecules, and second graders balance paper crawdads on the tips of their fingers.
The scientific process is thriving at Incline Elementary School thanks to a donation from the IES PTA and a grant from the Parasol Foundation. These generous allocations allowed IES to create a Science and Outdoor Education Program to enrich the current curriculum and implement outdoor education. The program boasts a full time coordinator, science lab, funding for field trips, assemblies and other school-wide events.
Natalie Wierzbicki, the full time Science and Outdoor Education Program Coordinator/Instructor, leads daily lessons in the lab while adhering to the program’s three main goals. First, to promote science education by serving as a resource for teachers and students. Second, to expand the learning base by welcoming input from community members and organizations who possess a wealth of knowledge. Finally, to impart an appreciation for science and investigation by leading students in the exploration of the outdoor environment.
The Science and Outdoor Education Program began in September, 2012. Since then a variety of nonprofit organizations, government agencies and academic institutions have offered their support. These collaborations have culminated in guest speakers, classroom lessons, science events, field trip opportunities, and the donation of materials/equipment. Key community partners include IVGID Waste Not, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Sierra Nevada College, US Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences, SWEP, American Red Cross and many others. A number of dedicated volunteers with a background and passion for science have been contributors as well.
If you have any interest in viewing the science lab in action, would like to offer your science expertise or donate to the program, please contact Natalie @ Nwierzbicki@washoeschools.net