The Holden Arboretum started a unique program in September 2003 called Growing Students in Science: A Community Partnership to Build Interest and Ability in the Sciences. Students participate in the program for three or more years, starting in the second or third grade and completing the program in the fifth grade. Each year students participate in two field trips at The Holden Arboretum and one classroom visit by Holden staff. By providing natural science programming, in the classroom and outdoors, Holden is positively impacting students’ interest and proficiency in the sciences. All programs are aligned with Ohio's science content standards.
Each year, teachers play an integral part in the Growing Students in Science (GSS) project, attending professional development workshops held throughout the year. The workshops provide them with tools to teach various aspects of the program to their students and provide additional activities to reach science standards. Teachers also play a key role in Holden's assessment of the project.
The following districts have incorporated GSS into their curriculum. Currently there are 215 classrooms and more than 5,000 students participating in this program.
Every year new districts are asked to consider participation in this multi-year program. All districts are welcome to participate. Most start at second- or third-grade level and progressively add a grade level as the students advance. However a school can start at any grade level. Costs associated with the program cover field trips, classroom visits, kits of materials and teacher professional development. Some funds are available to help subsidize interested districts who are in financial difficulty. See the current brochure.
We invite those who are interested to schedule a meeting to learn more about the program or better yet come out and observe a class in action. Holden visits occur every day April through May and September through October and classroom visits will be taking place from late January through March
Contact Becky Thompson, Growing Students in Science coordinator for more information.
Students discover how trees are important in past and present environments.They learn that trees function and interact with their environment and may cause change to the area where they live. Students learn to observe and ask questions about the natural environment. They use simple equipment and tools to gather information.
The third-grade program focuses on how animals and plants interact in a forest community. Students learn about animal and plant life cycles. They spend a great deal of their time improving their observation skills. Students investigate in Holden's forest and gardens
The fourth-grade program focuses on investigating changes in ecosystems. Students discover the processes that shape and reshape the earth. They investigate the effects of large scale natural disasters and human activities on an ecosystem. They use fossil evidence to discover how forests have changed over time. Students plan and conduct simple ecosystem investigations. They visit many landforms at Holden and study two different ecosystems, a field and a forest.
The fifth-grade program focuses on ecosystems. Students collect data in a greenhouse, field, forest and stream. They learn the importance of collecting information, identifying specimens and recording that information. They spend time communicating their information to other student scientists in their class.