See more from this Session: Experiential Learning and Action Education: II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Experiential learning by high school students in the Lincoln Public Schools (Nebraska) has been stimulated by small grant support in the areas of physical and natural sciences, humanities, languages, and other fields. Initiated in 1991, the Todd Francis Memorial Creative Research Awards have been provided to students who apply each fall for grants from $100-200 to pay for research-related expenses such as materials, information resources, and travel. These awards have funded 98 projects and involved 188 students as individuals or research teams, plus three class projects. There have been 27 high school faculty mentors involved. Often the projects are presented at the local, state, and national science fair and history day competitions. Among the noteworthy projects have been: Constructing a Working Copy of the Gutenberg Press (a full scale copy of the 1450 press that could be disassembled and transported to history competitions); The Forced Ponca Migration (implications of the May 1877 federally mandated march of the Ponca from South Dakota to Oklahoma); Women in World War I (chronicle of women’s roles in the First World War); Construction of a Telescope (working telescope constructed from locally-available materials); Meeting at the Newport Parish Church (two women in Civil War period costumes, one from the North and one from the South, meet on the church steps while seeking news of their husbands, and discuss the meaning of war); Ecological Fiction (purchase of books and publishing student reviews of each for school library); and Rights of Homosexuals in the U.S. Air Force (interviews of active duty service men and women at SAC Headquarters near Omaha). These socially-relevant projects have impacted the future studies and lives of many students in Lincoln. The awards were established in memory of Todd Erik Francis (1967-1990).