The Hipp Foundation awarded educators Jaclyn Shaffer, Jennifer Brandon, Amanda Gizelbach, Karen Lynch and Melissa Gardner of Lumberton School District a $4,223 grant to help elementary school students understand the interdependent relationships in the ecosystem. This inquiry based science unit with cross-curricular links will help improve reading and math proficiency and overall achievement.

The Florence L. Walther Elementary School students will work in groups to design and present a multimedia presentation detailing that some animals form groups in order to survive. Next, the students will complete a prototype solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of animals that live there may change. Students will also research how traits can be influenced by their environment and write a scientific journal article providing evidence found. The students’ presentations will explain how variations among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

The community will attend a Science Event where the students will appear as “Animal Detectives” and present their case files that will be judged by selected community members.

The school team will meet periodically to have in-house professional development training and planning sessions. A Professional Learning Community will be formed for cross-curricular teaching of reading and writing in the content area of Science. A goal is to create an after-school science club through community financial support and involvement.

For more information, contact:

Jaclyn Schaffer
(609) 267-1404 (Florence L. Walther E.S.)

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