Students Study Science Together Via Zoom
Story by Tamyra Horst
COVID-19 has created new routines, challenging circumstances and creative teaching. Education in Pennsylvania has been vaulted to a new level with special technology like 360-degree cameras that interface with Zoom, online academic activities and hybrid combinations of in-person and virtual learning— all combined with teachers and students who are determined to pursue excellence. Many fall and Christmas programs, and even the conference’s Music Fest, utilized a virtual format, allowing parents and friends to watch from a distance.
With this year’s Education Fair canceled, Leona Bange, superintendent of education, scheduled Science Day instead, a program that was both virtual and hands-on. Each classroom received kits of materials and active lessons on physics, math, friction, air pressure and chemistry. Via Zoom, they joined scientist Doug Scheer from Scheer Genius Assembly Shows to learn and do experiments. More than 300 students participated and interacted with other classrooms across Pennsylvania.
“It was fun. He did experiments that weren’t too hard, and everyone could do them,” reports a student from Blue Mountain Elementary in Hamburg.
“I learned that chemicals can melt solids sometimes,” shares a student from Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy (HVCA) in Warminster.
Lori Kavistan, HVCA fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, reflects, “It was really fun to watch students enjoy learning and growing in the scientific field. I especially enjoyed that my students weren’t just watching science happening, they were participating in their learning and sharing their curiosity with their classmates!”