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Tomorrow’s Changemakers: Mrs. Nemeth’s Class Explores Environmental Impact.

On a bright, sunny, spring  morning the students in Mrs. Nemeth’s 3rd grade class at Corpus Christi Catholic School buzzed with anticipation,  eager and excited to dive into the next lab lesson in their Grade Level Certified (GLC) science unit, Surviving in a Changing World.   

Bria enthusiastically shared her feelings exclaiming, “I LOVE doing ETHOS Science!” 

Her comment reflects the GLC curriculum’s success in fostering a love for science through engaging, hands-on, STEM simplified lab lessons that incorporate student-led inquiry and encourage students to think and explore. 

Students excitedly take out their Data Notebooks with colorful data sheets for each lab lesson.  Students feel like “real” scientists as they record data, take notes from experiments, make predictions, and apply what they are learning. 

For today's lab lesson “Changing Environments” students are  environmental scientists and land developers.  The environmental scientists groups work  collaboratively to design a habitat for deer, wolves, squirrels or water animals. The land developers are tasked with choosing and designing businesses to build on their land. 

Observing students working together, brainstorming ideas, making decisions, and negotiating roles is a testament to the effectiveness of the interactive and applied learning that is incorporated into the GLC lab lessons. 

While they are working,  Brady is overheard enthusiastically suggesting  to his group, “Let’s play this at recess!”.   Capturing  how the lesson resonates with the students.  Choosing to extend their learning beyond the classroom and showing how educational experiences can seamlessly integrate into their daily interactions and play. 

Using a handheld, portable doorbell, Mrs. Nemeth draws the students attention signaling there is a transition and provides additional instructions. 

The students gather around a designated area in the classroom where each group of environmental scientists determines the location for their animals' habitat and proudly lays it out.    When it’s time for the land developers to choose where they are going to put the chocolate factory and the toy factory they designed, the students realize the consequences their choice would have on the animal habitats.

The awareness of  the environmental  impact of their decisions sparked further discussion and reflection.   Mrs. Nemeth’s students weren’t just learning about science…they were learning to think.  Identifying and addressing problems and challenges and working together to find creative solutions.  

Visiting Mrs. Nemeth’s classroom offers  a clear view of how effective the GLC curriculum is in igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for science among young learners. Students learn to observe, question, explore and investigate as they make sense of the world around them.   Today, these third graders didn’t just learn about science, they lived it.

The skills the students develop here–critical thinking, empathy towards nature and a hands-on approach to learning–equip them not only for academic success but for lifelong stewardship of our planet. 

Witnessing their journey today provided an inspiring glimpse into the power of student focused, innovative teaching and the impact it can have in shaping our future leaders, thinkers and changemakers.  

 “I love science because I can change the future!”  Brady exclaimed with the realization of his own potential to affect change.

The exploration and learning doesn't end when a  lab lesson or a unit is finished; it merely transitions into a new phase. 

Mrs. Nemeth recognizes the significance explaining,   “The ‘Connect’ piece is a really great way to extend the units into the homes.  The families love it too!  The kids can't wait  to share their labs with their brothers and sisters.” 

Serving as a powerful bridge, this connection reinforces the material learned and  fosters a shared enthusiasm for discovery among students and their families, allowing families to actively engage in their child’s learning process.



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