What do you remember about your elementary school science classes?
I remember sitting in class, reading textbooks while the teacher droned on and on about some obscure science concept that was dense, dry and so distant from my life that I could never really envision employing the concepts that I had learned. For many students, this is their day-to-day interaction with science.
But for students in Oceanside, it doesn’t have to be.
Thanks to a $14,000 grant, awarded to San Diego Coastkeeper by The Oceanside Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation with support from The McLaughlin Endowment Fund of The San Diego Foundation, more students will get access to engaging lessons in science and environmental education through Project SWELL. The funding will allow Project SWELL to be implemented in 5th and 6th grade classes throughout Oceanside Unified School District, provide teachers with professional development, online access to the curriculum and materials for hands-on learning.
Project SWELL was developed through a ground-breaking partnership between San Diego Coastkeeper, Think Blue (the City of San Diego) and the San Diego Unified School District. Project SWELL is a school-based science curriculum that teaches children about the importance of the San Diego region’s waterways using hands-on engagement and inquiry based learning. The project helps teachers empower students to understand and improve the condition of San Diego County waterways. The Project SWELL curriculum is customized to the City of Oceanside and helps students to address the distinct challenges that their city faces when dealing with water supply, quality and conservation issues and gives the students tangible ways to address these issues and impact their community ‘right now.’
Each SWELL unit of study:
- Educates students about local watersheds
- Promotes stewardship for our natural environment
- Aligns with California State Science Standards
Currently, over 160,000 students (grades K, 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6) in San Diego Unified School district and over 1,600 students (grade 5) in Oceanside Unified School District have access to Project SWELL in their classroom. With this additional funding, Project SWELL will expand to include 6th grade, another 1,600 students.
Are you a teacher who wants to use Project SWELL in your classroom? Learn more at www.projectswell.org.