Section Meeting: "ARMS Adult Role Models in Science"
our monthly meeting on Apr 21, 2016, Dolly Ledin spoke to our
section about a class she teaches that involves UW students going to
local grade schools and teaching science once a week. The
class is part of the Adult Role Models in Science (ARMS) program,
which is about introducing school children to science and
engineering. Spending time with a mentor children can look up
to is helpful even to students who go into fields not directly
related to science.
According to Ledin, the evidence is clear that inquiry-based science
learning helps students gain critical thinking skills and
self-confidence around learning. It improves grades across the
board. But to really reap the benefits of science learning so it can
impact their trajectory in school and in life, kids need science in
elementary school. Unfortunately, most kids aren’t getting enough,
and the science they do get is often based on facts rather than
transferable thinking skills and taught by adults who are
uncomfortable with their own science learning. ARMS is about
building relationships and teaching kids life skills.
For the first there is a “Next Generation” nationwide science
curriculum. Madison is beginning to implement it. The
programs calls for elementary school students to spend 50% of the
science instruction time on engineering topics. The ARMS
program can help teachers execute this. Ms. Ledin said if you ask
kids their favorite subject they often say science and engineering
because kids naturally like doing experiments. Engineering
instruction exposes kids the concept of learning from failure.
They get to do something that does not work out perfectly and then
improve it or fix it another day.
The ARMS program has a website here
for more information.
talk was recorded as a Camtasia Screencast available for replay here.