Hearnes Science Club returns | News
MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - With a membership of 215 eager students in grades 1-5, "Science Club" has become the largest extracurricular student activity at Warren E. Hearnes Elementary.
The program is sponsored by 5th Grade science teacher Charlotte McNeary, who created both the club and its motto: "Way Cool Science!"
McNeary recently received the "Hooked on Science Educator of the Year" recognition for her outstanding work in science education and, in part, for the success of Science Club.
"I wanted everyone to be able to experience science at least once a month," said McNeary, who saw a need at her school and decided to act on it. "Most kids weren't getting regular science classes in the lower grades, and I thought that was sad."
So she started Science Club as a way to get students interested in science and introduce them to scientific concepts and terms like "experiment" and "hypothesis."
"I wanted it to be free, too," McNeary said.
Although students may choose to purchase a tee shirt, all memberships and activities are offered at no cost to students.
"We are supported by the donations of local businesses and individuals of Charleston," said McNeary, who recently led 3rd grade Science Clubbers in an experiment using recycled water bottles, cooking oil, food coloring, and glitter to make lava lamps. "I couldn't do this without local support."
Science Club is now in its 6th year, and has never been more popular.
"It's hands-on, awesome, science-based fun." said Hearnes Assistant Principal Frank Ellis. "This type of activity engages our students in a way textbooks simply can't."
"Science Club is one of the strongest extracurricular activities in our school district," said Tony Watkins, Charleston R-1 Superintendent. "Whether its athletics or clubs - student participation in activities like this is crucial to their interest and performance in school."
While working with so many students can be exhausting, McNeary said her motivation is relatively simple.
"Kids love science so much, and I don't want that to go away," she said.
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