Students at East High School presented five science projects to their families, friends, and other community members as part of the Students Tackling Authentic and Relevant Science (STARS) program on Friday, Oct. 31. This program is run in conjunction with graduate students at the Warner School of Education whose studies are focused on science education.
Now in its sixth year, the STARS program includes over 50 students. The students presented projects ranging from measuring levels of bacteria around their school to evaluating the effects of music on the emotions and attention spans of students.
“I think it’s great for the community,” assistant professor April Luehmann said in an interview with Time Warner Cable News. “I think […] we get to stop and pause and think about the role of science in all of our lives and how important youth voices and participation in science really needs to be.”
Luehmann teaches science education at the Warner Graduate School and is the director of Warner’s Get Real Science program.
The event was an example of the work that UR continues to do at East High as part of the UR/East High collaboration. At a presentation on Monday, Nov. 3 in the Welles-Brown room of Rush Rhees Library, director of the project and professor at the Warner School Steve Uebbing discussed
the details of the collaboration.
Uebbing informed the crowd of the progress that has already been made at the school and what work still needs to be done. An initial Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) application has been approved. It gave the UR directors of the program the go-ahead to continue to develop a plan.
Directors of the project have conducted interviews with every teacher and student at East High. They have also had meetings with bussing services, architects, parents, and community members. Uebbing said he is completely dedicated to this project and has faith in its success.
“This is important work. It’s work we should be doing,” he said. “As someone who’s been teaching since 1972, this is the most important thing I’ve ever done.”
UR professionals have already been involved at the school. A health clinic has been set up for students who have difficulty getting care. A college-preparedness program has been set up at the school with the help of the David T. Kearns Center at the University. The “Get-Real” science program, in conjunction with the STARS program, has continued to grow and interest students in science by providing them with hands-on experiences.
The second, more intensive EPO report will be submitted in December of this year. The faculty, staff, and students working on this project are confident in it but also realize that it is a brand-new and groundbreaking program.
“If we can figure out a way to make a difference,” said Dean of the Warner School Raffaella Borasi, “it could have significance not just for East High School but for the entire nation.”
Sanguinetti is a member of
the class of 2015.