Thanks to a grant of almost $46,000 from the Chevron Corporation, Marshall County Schools and Oglebay Institute (OI) are kicking off a multi-year partnership to implement a life science curriculum throughout the county for students in first through eighth grades. This is in addition to an already established collaborative program between the two for students in third, fourth and fifth grades.
The new curriculum, put together by OI nature educators and county teachers, features grade appropriate concepts that align with West Virginia Content Standard Objectives and both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. According to Marshall County Schools Director of Curriculum and Instruction Woody Yoder a variety of instructional methods will be used to delivery each lesson including verbal instruction and hands-on activities along with connections to math, language arts and social studies.
“In years to come I hope to see a more coordinated progression of instruction that connects science closely with other subjects and resonates strongly with our students by establishing opportunities to study in the natural world,” Yoder said.
Field trips to the Schrader Environmental Education Center in Wheeling and Grand Vue Park in Moundsville will be used for outdoor classroom learning. Fifth graders will continue participation in the REACH program while sixth grade students will attend a day camp titled L.I.F.E, or Learning in Field Experiences, at Grand Vue Park.
After successfully completing requirements this year, an additional $105,000 will be made available through the Chevron Corporation to continue instruction, activities, and events during the following two academic years. The program will become self sustained after three years.
Once in full effect the new curriculum will help every Marshall County students, grades first through eighth, understand scientific concepts that build on one another year after year.