Resources in the Community
"Accomplished teachers of students with exceptional needs select, adapt, create, and use rich and varied resources, both human and material." (NBPTS)
All sixth grade science classes at the American International School study Earth's waters as a focus point. In collaboration with the general education teacher, I planned to take our students on a field trip to the Wadi Environmental Science Centre.
The laboratory is on an island in the Nile River north of Cairo. There, they met scientists who monitor the water quality of the Nile and plan for environmental improvement. The students used field test kits to take samples. They learned measurements specific to water tests. They learned who and what causes the pollution in their community. The pictures below show students engaged in learning with professionals from their own community as the learning resource.
Students try their hand at pH testing.
The scientist, center in white scarf, points out the sources of pollution along the Nile.
The scientist describes the testing process. My students take notes.
The felucca ride back to shore.
This field trip capped an extensive study of water pollution and presented itself as an excellent opportunity to introduce the children to the human resources in their community who make an important and lasting difference on the quality of life. Throughout the year, we encouraged our students to continue their investigations of water quality and water scarcity.
The Wadi Environmental Science Centre is outstanding in the programs offered to students. We scheduled this event in the spring, near the end of the school year, because of convenience. It turns out that our students benefited more from the experience because of the timing. They already knew much of the terminology of water science and the concepts. The scientists of WESC had set up learning centers, and the students were ready to test water. They were focused and interested in the work at hand. I would schedule purposely at this time again next year.