Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center and GE-Aviation partner to Enhance Education at Local Elementary School

May 12, 2008

Partnership provides enhanced science curriculum at the Brickett Elementary School

The Marine Science Center at Northeastern University and GE-Aviation have partnered to introduce a novel science curriculum at the Brickett Elementary School in Lynn. The innovative program features experiential learning activities outside the classroom using marine-based learning models and volunteers from the GE-Aviation facility. The programs also incorporates ocean environment and marine science based educational materials donated by National Geographic.

“Outreach is one of the three missions of Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center,” said Gwilym S. Jones, director of the Marine Science Center. “As many as 5,000 students participate in this program each year. Having spent over 40 years as a teacher and researcher, I am ever more convinced that the greatest stimulation in science for most students is to be exposed to organisms and their interactions with their environments.  Our program offers these subjects in school classrooms and at our facility at East Point, Nahant.  We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Brickett School students.”

“GE and Northeastern alumni have been dedicated to recruiting for the GE Aviation Lynn facility, and it was a natural course of action for the Northeastern-GE relationship to grow by collaboration in a volunteer partnership,” said Mary J. Hargraves, GE Greater Boston Volunteers Lynn Educational Lead. “The Northeastern Marine Science Center program will provide a much needed science curriculum to the students at the Brickett School in Lynn. GE Greater Boston Volunteers is excited to extend its long-standing partnership with the Lynn School system to include this valuable program.”

Beginning this month, members of the Marine Science Center and a team of GE-Aviation volunteers will meet with each class, grades kindergarten through 5th, at the Brickett Elementary School and at the Marine Science Center, four times over a 4-6 week time period. The program will allow students to augment their science knowledge with hands-on education.

“The project is enormously exciting,” said Dr. Jaye Warry, Deputy Superintendent of Lynn Public Schools. “With the assistance of GE and their volunteers, the students at the Brickett School will learn about marine life and the science standards in a real, hands-on environment.”

Furthermore, National Geographic has donated a series of instructional books that pertain to marine science and the ocean environment. These particular books, which will be added to the Brickett School’s library, were hand selected by Jane Brauer of National Geographic for their relevance to the curriculum and their spectacular photography.

“I was honored to be asked by Dr. Warry to donate titles from National Geographic's newest division of the Society: National Geographic School Publishing,” said Jane Brauer, Ed. D. National Geographic Educational Consultant, Southern New England. “We have been blessed by many of the greatest minds in education today who have informed us on best practices for teaching literacy skills and strategies while imparting fascinating information in a way that only National Geographic can. Having the use of our National Geographic library of photos, we find students to be extremely motivated to learn as they turn the pages in our books. And with our newest science program just emerging, students will experience differentiated and inquiry-based text, as well as videos allowing them to engage with our very own National Geographic Explorers!”

Under current economic restraints, the Brickett Elementary School does not have the funds to provide fee-based extracurricular activities. The activities provided by the Marine Science Center and GE-Aviation will enhance the science education students are presently receiving. The project will also bolster the students’ knowledge and awareness of the Massachusetts coastal marine environment. All activities align with state educational frameworks.

Additionally, to supplement and reinforce the classroom and field experiences, a tank will be set up in the lobby of the Brickett Elementary School and maintained by the students. Organisms in the tank will be collected during student field experiences.

For more information, please contact Samantha Fodrowski at 617-373-5427 or at s.fodrowski@neu.edu.

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university's distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.

 

For more information, please contact Samantha Fodrowski at 617-373-5427 or at s.fodrowski@neu.edu.

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