A new science lab at River Eves Elementary school is “off the charts” as far as its students are concerned.
One of the key S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives prioritized by the school, the lab opened its doors in the fall of 2013 and has been booked solid ever since.
Thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Intermec Foundation secured by River Eves parent Brian Gore, and $3,000 provided by the River Eves Student Council, River Eves Education Foundation (REEF) and the River Eves PTA, the lab will soon be stocked with $6,000 worth of with new three-way magnification stations, prisms, fossils, rocks, simple machines, S.T.E.M. reference materials, science and math building kits, numerous topographic, astronomy and anatomy models and much more.
The science lab is also home to “James Bones,” a skeleton used for lessons about the human body, which was a gift from the graduates of the River Eves Class of 2013.
“It is so rewarding to see how excited students of all grade levels are to conduct hands-on experiments in the lab,” said Shelley Zimmerman, the new science lab teacher at River Eves. “Students from kindergarten through fifth grade are not only learning the Scientific Method, but actively utilizing it to develop hypotheses, conduct experiments and analyze their data to prove the scientific concepts they are learning in their regular classrooms.”
Experiments to date have spanned a range of activities, including teaching metamorphosis through studying the change from live chrysalis through a ‘butterfly release,’ using microscopes to investigate living organisms in pond water, and building simple machines to demonstrate the scientific formula for determining ‘work.’
Zimmerman earned a B.S. in marketing from Clemson University and a B.S. in elementary education from Salisbury University. She and her family live in Johns Creek where her children are students in Fulton County elementary and high schools.
“The new science lab makes a tremendous difference in how our students learn," said first-grade homeroom teacher Amanda Newton. “When my students use microscopes and magnifying glasses at real lab tables, they become budding scientists. The sensory learning in the lab reinforces the science curriculum they study with me.”
Principal Neil Pinnock agrees.
“The school has made a big commitment to its S.T.E.M. initiatives by establishing the Science Lab and hiring Mrs. Zimmerman,” Pinnock said. “We are already seeing many benefits from this investment, not the least of which is higher engagement in our students at all levels. Based on its resounding success, we plan to further expand its use next year.