COSI teaches AES students about ecology

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Center for Science and Industry (COSI) Columbus visited Austintown Elementary School on March 7-9 to teach children about ecology. They had stations centered around the topic, including one that allowed the students to see like certain animals do.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Each student at Austintown Elementary School had an assembly from COSI with their grade level in the gymnasium. Later, they went to the gym as a class with one other class to use the different stations COSI brought to the school. The stations, such as the tree station, centered on ecology.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Lindy Newman of COSI gave an assembly presentation on ecology. Each day a different grade level had the assembly and visited the gym later for stations. Before they could go to the stations, Newman explained the rules to them and answered their questions about the stations.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Austintown Elementary School's PTA brought COSI to the school to give the students a taste of science education. The PTA also ran the activity stations where children learned about ecology. Pictured, the students look at pictures of different habitats throughout the seasons.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.COSI brought a presentation and ten stations to Austintown Elementary School's gymnasium on March 7-9. Some of the stations taught the children about different animals, such as a bird beak station where the children tried to grab objects based on different bird beaks.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

The Austintown Elementary School welcomed a presentation from COSI Columbus from March 7-9 to teach the students about ecology.

COSI, Center for Science and Industry, gave each grade an assembly presentation in the morning of each day. Students visited the gym later in the day to learn at ten activity stations. They went down to the gym two classes at a time for a 30 minute session to go to each station.

“The K-2 curriculum has no science education, so we brought [COSI] to give the students a taste of science before third grade,” said Bethany Martinez, the president of the school’s PTA.

The PTA has brought in the presentation from the science museum last year and this year. The previous assembly focused on chemistry, whereas this one had an ecology theme.

Lindy Newman, a representative with COSI, gave the assembly presentation and led the students through the activity stations. The assembly introduced the concepts of ecology to the students and the stations gave them a hands-on experience with those concepts.

When the students returned to the gym for the activities, Newman sat them down and explained the rules and expectations for the students. Then, she let the children freely explore the 10 stations. PTA members sat at each station and helped the children learn.

The science museum brought a station that showed the four season and the changes in the climate and ecology with each. Next to that station, they had a station that explained camouflage with an “I spy” style activity where the children tried to find the animal in a set of photos.

They had two stations where the children got to better understand an animal’s experience. One station had vision goggles that children looked through to see what it was like to be that particular animal, such as an owl or an insect. The other station gave the students different types of bird beaks and they tried to pick up objects with the different types of beaks.

Three of the stations explored the ecology of plants. One showed the outline of a plant and had students label each part correctly. Another showed the rings on a tree and the parents explained how that showed the age of the tree. The third station demonstrated seed dispersal by having a child press a button and launch a seed into the air.

They also had a metamorphosis station that detailed the life cycle, a stacking station where the children made the food pyramid and a station titled “Just Fur Science,” that had a number of animal furs.

COSI Columbus does these types of assemblies all through Ohio and other surrounding states, such as Kentucky and Michigan. They have five different programs, with nine or ten stations each.

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