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James Holmes' sixth-grade science class at Colegrove Park Elementary School invited second-graders to learn about waves.
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Colgrove Park Sixth-Graders Get to Teach Wave Science

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Sixth-grader Emily Cooper, left, shines a flashlight on a mirror for a demonstration on light waves as Zoe Ramsden explains the experiment.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Armed with Slinkys and a microphone, James Holmes' Grade 6 science class taught second-graders about waves.

Holmes said pupils planned their lessons from the ground up prior to Tuesday's class at Colgrove Park Elementary School.

"I just thought this was a neat way for them to start learning about waves, to have them physically plan a lesson," Holmes said. "We have some cool activities that demonstrate sound waves, light waves, and more."

The sixth-graders used Slinkys, coiled wire toys, to show the properties of waves. They decided to take a hands-on approach and invite the second-graders to the front of the class to experiment. The lesson was further entertaining since each child was also adorned with interesting headgear for "hat day."

They demonstrated the power of sound waves with a chime and the magic of reflection, refraction, and diffraction.

Sixth-grader Zoe Ramsden said she enjoyed being the teacher for a change and channeling her inner performer.

"It was really nice being the teacher because I'm used to sitting down and listening very carefully," Zoe said. "It is just a nice change of pace, and it's like I am in charge and I get to let out my inner actor."

Fellow sixth-grader Emily Cooper said she hopes that the knowledge imparted to her younger schoolmates will be helpful in their educational future.

"It is cool that they get to learn this stuff now so when they get older they already know about it a little bit," Emily said.

Holmes said the student-driven class came out of teacher workshops focusing on ways to "get teachers to talk less and have kids talk and interact more." He said this gives students a stronger grasp on the curriculum.

He added that the process is a learning experience for everyone.

"I am happy that the kids of stepped up to the plate," Holmes said. "This is really my first time trying this and I am not afraid to make mistakes ... this is kids teaching kids and it is exciting."

Tags: Colegrove Park,   school program,   STEM,   

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