Alvaton Elementary 4th graders participate in STEAM Day activities

This was the first visit from 'Expeditions in Education,' and the 4th grade science teacher hopes it is not the last.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:10 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Expeditions in Education visited Alvaton Elementary School as part of their Crossing America Live tour.

“We have watched videos and done challenges already that they’ve already been working on, and so there was a build-up to today,” said Amanda Rupsch, an Alvaton Elementary 4th grade science teacher.

The non-profit organization works with the National Park Foundation to travel to schools and national parks across America.

“We have filmed at 132 national park sites in the last two years. We have ‘Crossing America,’ which is part of this today. This is a collaboration with the National Park Foundation, which we’re very grateful for. They give us money to travel to the schools, at no cost to the schools,” said Chief Education Officer for Expeditions in Education, Dacia Jones.

This is all done in hopes to spread awareness and work with students to solve real-world problems.

“We want our students to ultimately be able to solve problems, and that’s what careers are looking for. That’s what their future is going to be, and so it’s important that we have our kids involved in that now,” said Rupsch.

The organization provided STEAM Day activities for the students to work on with one another, allowing them to use their problem, solving skills and creativity.

“It helps them learn to take care of nature and it’s good for their bodies. It’s good for their souls,” said Rupsch.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Using exercises the non-profit provides, the students learn more about each subject.

“Some of our kids are like super excited like they want to be a park ranger. It’s just presenting them with opportunities they may not know about,” said Rupsch.

Students were asked to build a prototype to protect the Mazama Newts from the threats of invasive Crayfish in Crater Lake.

The Oregon rangers will assess the models built by the students to see which ones they get inspiration from to eventually make their own prototype, all in hopes of better protecting the newt population.

This was the first visit from Expeditions in Education, and the 4th-grade science teacher hopes it is not their last.