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The Independence School believes powerful partnerships can further deepen and expand learning experiences. Last year, the school began a collaboration with the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pa.
Working with the education staff at Stroud, our connection has since grown from field trips to the Stroud Center, to on-campus experiences that are transforming and enriching our middle school STEM curriculum. Independence students are engaged in outdoor learning and the use of sophisticated technology to become citizen scientists, while at the same time, helping Stroud in its important work in the study and support of freshwater streams and rivers.
Just this school year…
- Our seventh-grade scientists visited the outdoor laboratory at the Stream School at Stroud to collect and classify organisms and conduct chemical analyses of the water.
- Sixth graders are piloting brand-new lessons developed by Stroud educators, incorporating weather data collected from our campus sensor stations installed by Stroud earlier this year.
- Upcoming in February, the Stroud team will be teaching our seventh graders how to monitor bacteria in our waterways using specially designed incubators.
This powerful partnership extends beyond our students. Middle school science teacher Sarah Ferrell will collaborate with Tara Muenz, Stroud's assistant director of education, for a joint presentation at the upcoming Delaware Association for Environmental Education Conference in February.
Science educator Rachel Wood, an Independence board member and grandparent of a current Indy middle school student, has been instrumental in our partnership with Stroud and beautifully summed up its power.
"Every bit of research on science education stresses the importance of lessons and activities that occur outside the boundaries of school buildings and that engage students in problems and scenarios that exist in their world," Mrs. Wood explained. "It is these sorts of programs that students will remember long after leaving Independence."