Thanks to a $500,000 grant from Chevron to the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office, Science 4 Kern will soon be rolling out its unique mobile lending library program to give Kern County students access to science kits and educational support. As a mobile unit, this learn-by-doing approach will come directly to schools at no cost to them.
“Learning science from a book alone has its limitations,” said Kathy Hill, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability for KCSOS. “Actually getting to do science experiments is when the real learning happens. We are confident that this program will produce many ah-ha moments that can only be achieved when students use all of their senses to explore.”
Initially targeting grades 4 & 5, the program works by delivering science units consisting of equipment, lab materials, standards-based curriculum, printed activity sheets, and consumables directly to classrooms via the Science 4 Kern mobile unit. A credentialed teacher with classroom expertise in science will provide on-site lesson support.
The pilot Science 4 Kern program will launch in January 2014 with six available kits: Electricity, Magnets, Rocks and Minerals, Erosion, Ecosystems, and Food Chains, with more to be developed later in areas such as chemistry. After some fine-tuning, the program will expand countywide for fall 2014 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hill said they hope to expand the program to grades 6, 7 & 8 in the future.
Schools can apply to participate in the pilot program by logging on to the Science 4 Kern website at science4kern.org.