Classroom Spotlight: Winthrop STEM Elementary School

Come take a look into one of our NESS classrooms in New London! We recently visited Winthrop STEM Elementary School and observed programs for 2nd and 5th grade classes. We have four sponsored classrooms where our AmeriCorps members are stationed throughout the New London Public Schools in Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, Harbor Elementary, Nathan Hale Arts Magnet Elementary, and Winthrop. These classrooms are sponsored by donors each year to help NESS deliver high quality program experiences to our students. The day we visited our friends in New London, the 2nd graders had a mock beach clean-up on their playground and the 5th graders tried their hand at meteorology!

2nd Grade Students

The 2nd grade class, led by Anna Crouser and Katie Morfill, has been learning all about marine debris and how it effects our oceans and waterways. Today, their learning culminated in a mock beach cleanup on the Winthrop playground! The students donned plastic gloves and cleaned up any bit of trash they spotted. It was amazing to see how engaged the students were, searching all corners of the playground. Not only did each group of students seem to be motivated to pick up the most trash, but they also were proud of each bit of trash they were able to dump in the garbage bags. Many students approached Anna and Katie with big smiles and hands held out in front saying, “Hey Miss Anna! Miss Katie! Look what we found over here! Look how much trash we got!” The stewardship that the students demonstrated for their space is a true example of NESS core values at work!

5th Grade Students

Experiential learning is another NESS core value. Our 5th grade class just finished their unit on weather and how this affects the oceans, as well as sailing conditions. Today was an exciting day! The students started enrichment class with a “Fog in a Bottle” experiment led by Kathryn Malinowski. Kathryn poured hot water in a beaker and covered the opening with a plate of ice covered in salt. The students observed the bottle and watched fog and condensation appear in the beaker. Next, Raina Wesson brought the students back to their seats for the next part of the lesson, asking the students what they thought the word “meteorology” means. For the rest of the class, students partnered up to use iPads to research and complete a forecast for the upcoming week. The following enrichment classes were spent in the technology lab using a real green screen to film and edit forecast videos. Our NESS educators were amazed with the outcome of their forecast video projects and their video-editing skills!

It is always so much fun to see what our students are up to with our educators, and always so great to see how our NESS core values play into lessons in the classroom! We can’t wait to see what kinds of projects our students are up to next. Stay tuned for more classroom spotlights!