School explores museum scenario

The Mayor of Greenville has a problem. Following a recent oil spill people and animals have become exposed to toxins. To get to the bottom of the extent of the contamination, he turned to the Advanced Learners at Washington Elementary School.

The Greenville scenario is part of curriculum produced by Boston Museum of Science for a eight-week project the students have been working on using Apple iPads. Fifth-grade teacher Kathy Lentz and fourth-grade teacher Natalie Boe received $5,000 Teachers and Technology Grant from Qwest Technology to use for the “Preparing for the 21st Century Project,” which incorporates modern technology into classroom settings. Valley City was only one of seven school districts in the state to receive the grant, and the teachers were able to purchase seven of the devices.

On the third session of the project, the students were testing the pH levels of soil and water samples, using the devices to photograph each sample.

“The last day is the 12th of March. That’s the day we’ll invite parents to come in and they’ll use the iPad to make a slide show presentation,” Lentz said.

Boe said while it’s not uncommon for teachers to use iPads in the classroom, she could not think of another project or class in the Valley City School District that purchased its own devices.

“Mrs. (Rhonda) Nudell, (fifth grade teacher at Washington) has had her own personal iPad that she’s been using with the kids. Jill Taylor (student performance strategist) has one at Jefferson; they’re out there, but I don’t know who has them.”