Science Resource Center offers support outside the classroom

Part of ever-evolving education, curriculum and instruction is learning and delivering new methods to students that may go beyond the four walls of a classroom and the pages of a textbook.

CFISD offers a number of opportunities just like this in many subject areas. When it comes to science, one such opportunity is the Charlotte Davis Burns Science Resource Center (SRC) located across the street from Arnold Middle School at 11206 Telge Road. Established to provide support to science teachers and students at all grade levels, the SRC offers demonstrations and training, as well as hands-on activities and field trip opportunities among other things.

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The Charlotte Davis Burns Science Resource Center provides support to CFISD science teachers and students at all grade levels, offering demonstrations and training, as well as hands-on activities and field trip opportunities.

The facility houses hundreds of animals, many which were donated. There’s also an adjacent “pocket prairie,” which is a part of the Prairie Builders Schools & Parks program designed to form a bridge between the classroom and prairie science, culture, economics and global environmental stewardship.

“I was a generalist – an elementary science teacher,” said Denise Martin, SRC curriculum specialist. “For me, it really helped me to bring good science into my classroom. We’re very fortunate that we’re able to offer this resource to the teachers in Cy-Fair.”

In addition to working with teachers, SRC staff work with volunteers and parents on demonstrations and training, deliveries, lab kit preparations and usage, gardening and field trips. The volunteers in turn, are able to bring real-life science into the classroom and assist teachers in their instruction.

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In addition to working with teachers, Science Resource Center staff work with volunteers and parents on demonstrations and training. Field Trips also put students together with real-life science, including “Animal Odyssey,” a two-hour trip for kindergarten where they visit teacher- and volunteer-run stations housing fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals.

“The demos are all parent-driven,” said David Wallace, SRC manager. “And they’re only done by parents at the different schools.”

Added Martin: “So it’s exciting to be able to teach a child’s parent to take snakes into their classroom and they become superheroes for the day. Once they come to one training, we’ve hooked them in.”

Among the field trips available are “Animal Odyssey,” a two-hour trip for kindergarten where they visit teacher- and volunteer-run stations housing fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals. “Gulf Mysteries” allows first-grade students to explore the Gulf of Mexico and both the plants and animals that live in the environment. Third-grade students can participate in “Simple Machines,” where groups work through activities with inclined planes, levers, pulleys and wheels and axles.

But the curriculum can evolve, with the SRC ready to assist teachers who communicate their needs. It may be transporting and showcasing animals in a classroom for a day, to scheduling and overseeing a field trip to the facility.

“We just try to help the teachers any way we can,” Wallace said. “They’re just so appreciative of whatever we can help them do. I mean, that’s the whole reason we’re here.”

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Adjacent to the Science Resource Center is a “pocket prairie,” which is a part of the Prairie Builders Schools & Parks program designed to form a bridge between the classroom and prairie science, culture, economics and global environmental stewardship.

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