Blue Ridge Partnership

Professor Kurt Hoffman working with Blue Ridge students to build solar circuits.

Blue Ridge Elementary and Whitman College teamed up in 2014 to create a partnership for science education, bringing 10 outreach lessons to 4th and 5th grade students. The programs included Rock Stories, Properties of Water, What's in a Seed, Coral Chemistry, Solar Circuits and Potato Batteries, Brain Science, Searching for Stars with Spectrographs, Microscopes, and Snakes.

Linking Whitman resources to the students at Blue Ridge allowed the 4th and 5th grade students to dig deep into science. These students also visited Whitman to explore the physics lab, geology stream table and planetarium.  While they were here they measured speed and acceleration, made fossils and identified rocks.

In April, Blue Ridge hosted a Family Science Night.  Whitman professors and Blue Ridge teachers facilitated seven activities while parents and students traveled from station to station.  With a positive response, we will expand this opportunity to all elementary schools next year.

The sparks of imagination generated through this partnership inspired students to want to be scientists and engineers. This inspiration drives our work in the Science Outreach program.