Elementary to College

Children scrambled all across campus to be rewarded with unsolved math and science problems Wednesday. Fourth- and fifth-graders from 20 schools in Fort Worth ISD applied their knowledge of science and math to the TCU campus, calculating angles, assessing the habitat of campus wildlife, converting measurements and many more activities as part of a program called the “Math and Science Trail”.

New to TCU, the trail tested the students based on a curriculum similar to that of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills test, according to a press release.

Elizabeth Presley, junior elementary education major, said the creation of questions and participation in the implementation of the trail serves as the final for her math education class. She said each TCU student was assigned a particular portion of the campus, and had to fashion short labs involving both science and math which somehow related to the physical setting of their area.

The elementary school children are not the only ones learning, said Kristine Searight, junior elementary education major. She said working with the students helps her learn what teaching strategies are effective, and teaches her ways to keep the attention of active children.

Raul Torres, 22, said he received no credit as an anthropology major, but volunteered to benefit what he felt was a worthy cause.

“By bringing them (the elementary students) to a college campus setting we can prepare them, give them ideas about their future while they’re young,” Torres said.

Cristian Astorga, 11, said in his spare time he likes to study math. He said of all the activities his favorite was finding acute and obtuse angles. Astorga said one day he might study at TCU to become a mathematician.

Julie Cameron, a math teacher at Westpark Elementary School, said she plans to set up a similar program at her school but in a slightly different fashion.

“My kids could turn around and write questions for the lower level kids to be able to use,” Cameron said. “If they can write about their math, they comprehend it much better.”

Courtney Steele, early education major, said she thinks programs involving the education are an important part of TCU’s role in giving back to the community. She said she thinks the trail is equally important to the leaders as well.

“It’s a fun way to give early childhood education majors a time of interaction with young students,” Steele said.