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Family Science & Math Night Program
|Reflection from a college student enrolled in ED3510 Communicating Science who actually attended family science nights as an elementary student in the late 1990's with all of the activities led by MTU students! This is a first! Pretty cool!
From Carly Maloney, 4th Year Michigan Technological University student:
"As for my experience with informal science education, I was born and raised in Ontonagon and was exposed to Family Science Nights for many years. What I remember most about these learning opportunities is how excited I was in the days before, and afterwards, how excited I was with what I had learned there. It was really remarkable to me that these ‘cool’ older college kids were presenting these fun ideas about science and learning. Even though we were with the same kids we went to school with everyday and in the same classrooms, it felt like a completely new experience; more freedom, more fun and more learning as well."
Family Science Night attendance record of 257 students and parents set by Barkell Elementary in Hancock on Oct. 23, 2007!
Each year, family math and science nights are conducted at nearly all 19 elementary schools in Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic and
The program is sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, with funding from the Wege Foundation and the National Science Foundation, with a grant from the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. The program is conducted in collaboration with Michigan Technological University's Departments of Education and Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Family nights usually take place at the school from 6:00-7:30 pm. Students and their parents attend
two 40-minute inquiry-based activities led by Michigan Tech students.
Elementary students may have to solve a problem, do an experiment,
tackle an engineering challenge, conduct an investigation, or
do whatever creative lesson the MTU student designs. Family science
night programs offer something new and fun for both elementary
students and their families.
Most of the
Michigan Tech student presenters are enrolled in an MTU Department
of Education 2-credit semester-long course titled "Communicating
Science." (link to course syllabus/schedule) As part of the
course, the university students receive training in teaching methods,
classroom management, lesson plan development, and presentation
Parents Attend Family Science Nights*
1. The kids
look forward to it, and it gets parents involved.
2. Interesting and fun for all.
3. Learning by doing is great.
4. Educational, fun, and hands-on.
5. Great chance for parents and kids to spend a fun time together and
6. Kids get to do hands-on activities.
7. Teaches the kids about science in a different and fun way.
8. Gets the kids away from TV.
9. I get to see how my child learns!
10. Meet other parents!
* These responses were listed most often on parent evaluation forms,
when parents were asked why they attend.
- National Science Foundation with a grant to Dr. Chung-Jui Tsai, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
- The Wege Foundation
- Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education with assistance from the Departments of Education and Civil & Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University
Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education
105 Dillman Hall
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Dr., Houghton, MI 49931-1295
Tel: 906-487-3341 Fax: 906-487-1620
Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental
Michigan Technological University
For Educational Use Only
on: October 26, 2012