Since I began working at School on Wheels almost four years ago, the program team and myself have spent a lot of time developing curriculum. From the games in the Tutor Toolkits to the apps we have on the iPads, we’ve always worked hard to make sure that once homework is finished, the kids who attend tutoring are able to practice necessary skills through fun activities and games. The resources that we’ve developed have been heavily focused on math and language arts as these are the two subjects that students are most often tested on, but we found ourselves asking – what about everything else?
Over the last two years we’ve worked to expand our offerings beyond math and reading by adding new curriculum pieces like the Creativity Kit and offering enrichment opportunities in science at all of our partner locations. Dow Agrosciences has been one of our main partners in our endeavor to bring science to tutoring. Since 2012, they’ve brought their science ambassadors to each tutoring location and have worked with our students to complete hands-on experiments related to agriculture and DNA and chemistry.
Each time the Dow science ambassadors come to tutoring, we receive an overwhelming response from our students – they love it! So we knew that we had to find a way to give our students more science.
This spring, thanks to a generous Dow Promise Grant, we’ve done just that! Throughout the winter, our program team worked closely with Dow scientists to figure out the best way to integrate science experiments with the technology pieces we already have in place – the iPads. Through this partnership, we worked to identify the best apps from a wide variety of scientific fields and the best hands-on activities to extend what they learned using the iPads.
Over spring break, we were able to bring together all of these pieces to have the science activities ready to launch at tutoring in April! Overall, we added nine new science apps covering a wide variety of topics including neuroscience, chemistry, physics and anatomy to each iPad and created four hands-on activities to extend what they’ve learned! We are excited to test out these new activities with our students and are happy to have Dow ambassadors joining us to educate students and tutors on these new curriculum pieces.
In addition to helping us extend our science curriculum, our partnership with Dow has allowed us to bring printers to tutoring and purchase additional iPads so more students are able to utilize them for homework and enrichment activities.
None of this would have been possible without our continued partnership with Dow Agrosciences. They have truly gone above and beyond to help bring science to our kids, and we know that this will have a long-term impact on our students! Thank you!