MASSENA - Fifth graders at Nightengale Elementary worked with educators and scientists from Silverthorne, Colo., to investigate an environmental issues problem from a neighboring town.
Fifth-grade teachers Melisa Denney and Shelley Carroll thanked The Alcoa Foundation for the fabulous opportunity and the knowledge that was gained by them, as well as their students, from their participation in the Key Issues Institute in Silverthorne, Colo., in June 2011.
Students followed the scientific method to find the cause of the mysterious illness spreading through the town. They were introduced to the Silver City Epidemic, then made hypothesis, conducted research, and performed tests on samples sent all the way from Colorado. As they discovered new information, they were able to change their hypothesis.
Watching the young scientists follow this problem solving framework and discuss and write their ideas was amazing. It is unknown whether the kids had more fun solving this issue, or the teachers had more fun watching them rise to the challenge, according to Ms. Denney