Indian Knoll Elementary fourth grade students and their families recently participated in a virtual science night focused on making science accessible for all, including students with learning differences and disabilities.
Families participated in activities such as “Straw Towers” and “Gummi Bear Long Jump” to build STEM fundamentals through hands-on learning. Through Zoom, participants were able to learn how to build and test the strength of a tower built from straws and build a catapult to shoot gummy bears across the room.
“This evening's event was a huge success. Everyone was grateful for this opportunity,” said Jackie Campos, principal of Indian Knoll Elementary School. “We appreciated the work and the attention that went into making this such an inclusive evening for all students and their families. This is an event that our families will not forget due to the science experiences shared by everyone! We would like to thank Double Good, The Nora Project and Science Olympiad for this opportunity.”
The event was the culmination of a partnership between Science Olympiad, The Nora Project and Indian Knoll Elementary School. With the financial support of Double Good, Science Olympiad, a national science non-profit organization, was able to modify existing Elementary Science Olympiad activities to include accommodations to address the needs of a range of students, including those with disabilities. This work resulted in a manual, Elementary Science Olympiad for All.
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Science Olympiad then teamed up with The Nora Project, a non-profit that provides social/emotional learning curriculum and professional development for teachers focusing on disability awareness and empathy education, to identify a school to work with and create an inclusive virtual experience. Together, they worked with Indian Knoll Elementary teachers to recruit families, distribute materials, and host the event.
The event offered families the use of accommodations such as closed captioning, Spanish translation and interpretation, and individualized coaching. Indian Knolls’ fifth grade STEMpathy Club assembled the science kits and will create a video of the event.
"Supporting Science Olympiad and The Nora Project on this special event is very much aligned with Double Good’s mission of helping ALL kids do what they love,” said Tim Heitmann, Founder and CEO of Double Good. “We’re grateful to play a part in making STEM more accessible for all."