“Mr. Science” was at James A. Cawood Elementary School this week, providing participants in the school’s 21st Century Learning Center with exciting hands-on opportunities.
Having visited the school several times, students clearly are excited about what they are doing in the grant funded after-school program.
“I love when he comes,” said fifth-grader Elizabeth Inman. “He is so much fun. He teaches us about erosion, balance, good structure, how water moves and how air pushes things. He shows us how things work instead of talking about it or reading it in a book. He shows us detail.”
“It is real life science,” said Darlene Larkey, director of the Harlan County Schools 21st Century Community Learning Centers. “He helps the children make the connection from abstract to real life science. The kids are always working. They are intrigued. They come to life when he is here. They can’t wait for him to come.”
“Mr. Science,” also known as Jason Lindsey of Paducah, is an award-winning science educator and author, having written “Beyond the Science Lab,” an inspirational book of easy-to-do experiments. In his book he shows kids that God is the ultimate scientist, with each chapter being inspired by a Bible passage and teaching kids about a particular scientific principle.
In the public school setting, Lindsey does not teach the Biblical aspects in the classrooms out of respect for public school policies. However, in parochial and other non-public institutions he uses Bible.
Larkey describes Lindsey as very child friendly. “He can pick out the kids who need intervention and turns to these kids to get them involved,” she said.
Addressing the common core standards for educators, Lindsey looks for areas needing attention to help boost student achievement. He noted that by visiting schools four times in a period prior to testing, schools have documented a 10-point increase in their science scores.
“Hooked on Science is all about a hands-on approach,” said Lindsey. “Research shows hands-on learning can get a kid hooked on science,” he said. “While they are having fun, I slip in the facts… They don’t realize they are learning when they are.”
“He teaches us how ordinary stuff can become science,” said Inman, who has seen a substantial increase in her science grade since Mr. Science has been visiting her school. “He makes things come alive in science. It is easier than telling someone because you are actually doing it. You are able to see it. You are able to get more because it is right in front of you.”
Second-grader Nick Smith agrees. “I’ve been learning about air, weather and lots of things,” he said. “It is fun. We do a lot of activities.”
Through the exploding film canister, the skewered balloon, the magnetic dollar and many other experiments, he explains scientific principle.
Having studied science and journalism at Western Kentucky University, he focused his studies on general science with an emphasis in meteorology and climatology. He worked diligently for more than 10 years to take science beyond the classroom window.
A former chief meteorologist, backpack journalist, science reporter and webmaster for stations WKAG-TV, WBKO-T, KGWN-TV and KFVS-TV, he now produces and hosts a hands-on science segment which airs on television stations across the nation, including WYMT in Hazard.
WYMT Producer Brandon Robinson said the Hooked on Science segment will air each Friday during the 6 a.m. hour and will include science safe experiments that students can do at home.
It is a 60-second segment designed to teach science outside the classroom and to encourage parents to do the same. He said the simple experiments are easy and designed for ingredients that most parents will have at home.
For more information, visit www.hookedonscience.org.