The Science Education Partnership (SEP), formed in 1992, consists of the Lambton Kent District School Board, the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, local businesses, industries, and community partners. Lambton Kent Agriculture in the Classroom (LKAITC) has been an active partner since 2002.
The SEP was formed for the purpose of expanding and supporting a quality “Hands-on, Minds-on” science program for students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
The Lambton Kent Agriculture in the Classroom Committee is a valued supporter of the SEP Science Kit Program. This program provides educators with hands-on science materials and equipment in the form of education kits. Units contain consumables, science equipment, posters, print materials for students, teacher reference books, and activity guides, all of which allow students to “do” science in a “hands-on” manner. SEP kits support the grade level expectations as described in the “Ontario Curriculum, Grade 1-8, Science and Technology (Revised 2007)”.
LKAITC funds have been used to develop and/or enhance kits that have agriculture related content, such as Gr. 2 Farm Animals, Gr. 3 Plants, Gr. 3 Soil, Gr. 7 Ecosystems, and the series of Kindergarten kits on “Growing Things”. These units are comprised of substantial consumable content which must be replaced after each use. The annual donation from the LKAITC helps cover these costs.
The LKAITC Action Committee is excited to promote the newly restructured and renamed SEP volunteer program called the “Science Discovery Squad”. Teachers can invite a Science Discovery Squad volunteer into their classroom to lead students through unique science experiences. There are four Divisions of the SD Squad: The Science Division, The Building Bridges Division, The Agriculture Division, and the Coding Division. Activities are curriculum-linked but slightly outside the box in the sense that they go above and beyond the textbook.
Science Discovery Squad volunteers lead students through hands-on activities that teachers would not likely tackle on their own, often using equipment and demonstration materials the volunteers have created themselves. Not too many schools have a life-sized trebuchet or hovercraft that will lift a student in their science storage cubpoard! The Science Division offers 16 different demonstrations from Simple Machines to Fluids. The Bridge Building Division of volunteers have students build bridges with wood craft sticks using a given set of specifications. Coding activities introduce students to computer logic and programming. And, who better to explain where our food comes from than the people that produce it? That is where the Agriculture Division volunteers come in.