The University of Nebraska State Museum will host a special free edition of Sunday with a Scientist in partnership with the Lincoln Public Schools’ Community Learning Centers and University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and faculty from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Morrill Hall, 645 N. 14th St.
Lincoln middle school students will present their own hands-on activities to museum visitors. The activities will focus on topics of animal behavior including migration, reptile feeding patterns, mimicry and mutualism. Mentored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students, the LPS students have been hard at work during the fall semester researching and developing activities as part of a year-long initiative led by Eileen Hebets, biological sciences professor at the university.
“This project is an exciting example of how community partnerships positively impact youth and encourage their interest in science,” said museum director Susan Weller. “By combining our resources and expertise with the Community Learning Centers and Dr. Hebets, we have together created a unique experience for these junior scientists with their student mentors. I hope the community will support them and come to this special free event.”
The program provides a multigenerational approach to education in the natural sciences. University students receive formal instruction by Hebets and invited colleagues from across campus on how to construct and deliver effective informal science activities. The students then serve as after-school science club leaders, working with middle school students in the Community Learning Centers. These middle school students and staff, in turn, connect with elementary students in additional joint elementary/middle school after-school science clubs. The program design leads to a richer learning experience for all students and a broader awareness of the natural sciences.
“This capstone event provides our participating middle school students the unique chance to be leaders, role models and science educators to not only their partnered elementary school students, but to their peers, their families and to the broader Lincoln community,” Hebets said. “Occasions like this offer unparalleled opportunities for youth to increase their self-confidence, their science identity and their science learning.”
Free admission for Sunday with a Junior Scientist is supported by gifts from University of Nebraska State Museum donors and the Friends of the State Museum.
For more information on the program, including upcoming topics, click here.