Elementary students to have fun with sciences

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published February 22, 2013

 Beacon Elementary employee Paige Drabant works with students at one of the game tables during Family Math Night last fall.

Beacon Elementary employee Paige Drabant works with students at one of the game tables during Family Math Night last fall.

File photo by April Lehmbeck

HARPER WOODS — Families gathered at Beacon Elementary last fall for a hands-on experience to see how much fun math can be with games and activities, and the district is gearing up to do it again.

The fall program was a big hit that packed in more than 100 students and their family members for the nighttime program. This time, they are planning a science night for students and families from Beacon and Tyrone elementary schools from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 7 at Beacon Elementary.

“It will encompass both science and math activities,” Beacon Principal Janet Gottsleben said in an email.

“Our aim is to prove to students and families that science is cool and a subject to get excited about,” she said.

The large turnout from the fall event pleased Superintendent Todd Biederwolf, who attended the event. 

“It just fills your heart — kids and families having fun and learning together,” Biederwolf said during the fall event. “To see this type of turnout — this community is committed to their schools.”

"Parent engagement is a critical component that is consistently identified as significantly contributing to the ability of students to be highly successful," Biederwolf said. "Therefore, we work to encourage parental engagement. Doing so not only strengthens the school academically, it also strengthens the bonds that exist between the school and the community."

The science night program will include experiments and activities that will run with the help of 20 volunteers from the staff.

“The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum will be bringing this event to Beacon for all our elementary families (from) Beacon and Tyrone,” Gottsleben said. “This event is sponsored by our GSRP, Great Start Readiness (Program) grant.

“I am very excited; we try to have the museum come annually for our preschool and early elementary students,” she said. “This year, we are trying to incorporate the entire elementary population to get families excited about science.”

For the families who attend, there will be opportunities to take what they learn from the event and use that to further their learning experience while at home, she said.

“We offered a free $10 coupon to purchase a math game last time,” she said. “We will offer a raffle this time around for participating families to ensure a full house.”