Cummins Employees Volunteer Time to Help Fletcher Students Learn More About Science

Fletcher Elementary School fourth graders had the unique opportunity to experience science firsthand with the help of employees from Cummins Engine. The Cummins volunteers set up five science stations in the fourth grade classrooms including: Air Pressure, Catapults, Gears, Lights and Lenses and Electricity/Potato Clock, which reinforced subjects the students were learning in class.  Students created “Learning Logs” to enter three, new facts they learned, two things they’d like to know more about and a question they had about the experiments.

“I think it’s really nice that they took the time to come and help us,” said Fletcher Elementary School fourth grader, Christian Dye. “We got to learn more about science by trying fun experiments. I learned a lot that I didn’t know from Cummins people.”

The Cummins connection came about through fourth grade teacher, Katherine Zwald.  “I had experienced the Cummins Science Program through a different district I worked in. I really wanted to bring the program to our school and show students how what they are learning connects with the real world. Also, we had the NYS Science Test coming up and I wanted to kids to see the test as something that isn’t scary or boring. All kids love science and Cummins helped get them in the mindset to show their stuff!”

Mrs. Zwald reached out to Fletcher PTA member and Cummins employee, Karla Gonzalez, to see if the program could be brought to Fletcher School.

“Cummins and its employees recognize the importance of education to the sustainability of our community; we are committed to making our community successful,” said Mrs. Gonzalez. “By helping children apply the knowledge they are learning in the classroom, Cummins is doing their part to build the workforce of tomorrow. The employees had a great time interacting with the students with these fun, hands-on experiments.”

The teachers were excited to see the students using what they have learned to come up with scientific solutions for each experiment.

“It is important for our students to understand that they are learning ideas and concepts that they can use in their everyday lives,” said Mrs. Zwald. “They were challenged to think about why their experiments were working. The best part is that they were able to think independently and push the conversation in the direction they were interested in. All of the employees at Cummins were so encouraging and patient with our students. They truly made the whole program about what the students wanted to know. I learned more about Cummins while working with their employees and I am so impressed with how much they do for our community. We cannot wait to have them back next year.”

Thank you to the Cummins employees who volunteered their valuable time at Fletcher School:  Karla Gonzalez, Alex Miller, Michael Sterner, Chris Dole, Ann-Marie Guevara, Luis Cruz, Morgan Neal, Jonathan Jones and Mark Nordwall.

posted on 06/15/2016 - filed under: Academics, Community, Elementary School, Science, Spotlight, Students