School/Community Partnerships in Science
Jamie Oleka teaches science at Southern High School and is one of two fellows this year in a partnership between Teach Kentucky and the Louisville Water Company designed to bring programming into high school classrooms.
School Community Learning partnerships are essential to expanded learning. We have been fortunate enough to partner with the Louisville Water Company (LWC) this school year as we have learned about various science concepts in Integrated Science 1A.
The first visit by LWC included an overview of how water is used in the community and its importance when planning a city. Students then worked in teams to design a city given a budget and had to explain where they would receive their water. It was a great way to practice the engineering design process towards the beginning of the school year.
During our forces and motion unit, LWC visited and we were able to relate students’ understanding of forces and motion to the forces of gravity on water. Students worked in teams to create a distribution model for delivering water. It was neat to see them use the limited materials to create a model to distribute water. This also sparked conversation for how distribution of water works in our city.
One of my goals as a freshman science teacher is to expose my students to various science careers because most of my students do not know a lot about STEM careers. The final visit by LWC will allow us to expose students to more careers within science that are available with LWC. Various employees will be visiting students to talk about the work they do at Louisville water. I’m excited to witness the impact this will have over time. I may have the next engineer for LWC in my classroom at this very moment!