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Elementary Science Outreach Program

The College of Saint Mary Elementary Science Outreach program brings exciting, hands-on activities to the elementary science classroom.  Once scheduled by the elementary classroom teacher with CSM, two CSM college level science students bring equipment, experience and resources and provide a specific one-hour activity to the students.  The normal classroom teacher is present for the activity to monitor and help answer student questions.

Founded in 2011, the CSM Elementary Science Outreach Program is a student driven, faculty managed and supported program which seeks to bring exciting and educational hands-on science activities to elementary school classrooms in the Omaha Metropolitan area.

One of the goals of our program is to expose children to not only science-based activities, but also basic scientific equipment.  We want to show the children the world of science and nature, and simple equipment like mirrors, lasers, a Van Der Graaf (static electricity) generator and microscopes makes this possible.  We understand the tight nature of public school budgets, and have arranged with College of Saint Mary to bring our equipment to your classroom!

Available Science Activities for Your Classroom

Available Science Activities for Your Classroom

Introduction to Laboratory Science

The goal of these activities is to familiarize the students with basic laboratory equipment and safety and scientific terminology.

Weather

The objective of this lesson is to learn the importance of understanding the weather and its’ effects on the earth.

Earth and Its Inhabitants

The objective of this activity is to familiarize the students with the relationship between the Earth and its’ inhabitants and help them to distinguish between living and nonliving things in the environment.

Electricity

The objective of this activity is to Demonstrate methods of producing static electricity.

Erosion

Students will identify and describe characteristics of Earth’s materials and their changes over time through erosion and weathering.

Force and Motion

Students will demonstrate relative position and motion of objects. Students will explore how objects move in different ways and demonstrate gravity and air resistance by making a parachute.

Health and Nutrition

The objective of this activity is to teach students how science is used to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Light and Sound

The objective of this activity is to provide hands-on demonstrations that help students to understand the properties of light.

States of Matter

The objective of this lesson is for students to explore and describe the physical properties of matter. Emphasis will be placed on the unique properties of liquid/water. Students will identify the differences between mixtures and pure substances, physical properties of matter and demonstrate the concept of density.

Ecosystems

The goal of this activity is to introduce the ecosystem concept, the components of an ecosystem and to discuss the importance of ecosystems to life in general and to humans in particular.  Students will create a small ecosystem using simple materials found in the home.

Nutrition

The objective of this activity is to teach students how science is used to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Fun with Germs

The objective of this activity is to teach students how science is used to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Our Team

Our Team

Our CSM Science Outreach team is made up of College of Saint Mary students and a faculty coordinator.

CJensen3730 [at] CSM.edu (Chloe Jensen) is a junior in her 2nd year at the College of Saint Mary. She is duel majoring in Biology and Chemistry and is a Marie Curie Scholarship student at CSM. She plans to complete her degrees in the Spring of 2020. From there she would like to pursue Medical School and specialize in Dermatology. She indulges her time as a member of the College of Saint Mary Softball team, the Walk Tall Honors Program, and the Math and Science Club. Chloe has also spent time conducting research at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, tutoring her peers, and umpiring youth softball games. Chloe is passionate about introducing science and math techniques to young students to spark interests and broaden the STEM fields.

MMorris0003 [at] csm.edu (Mary Morris) is a senior at the College of Saint Mary. She is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Environmental Sustainability. She will complete her degree in May of 2020 and plans to attend UNMC for graduate school in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology after graduation. Mary is actively involved in many organizations on campus including the CSM Golf Team, Marketing Department, and Green Team, as well as conducting undergraduate research on the Tardigrade microbiome. Her long-term goals are to work in education administration, developing new and more effective curriculum for the subjects of science and math. Mary is excited to lead others in educating future generations about various STEM topics.

jgrove [at] csm.edu (Dr. Jennifer Grove) is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Program at College of Saint Mary. She teaches Genetics, Immunology, Hematology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and works with the Walk Tall Honors Program. As someone who knew she wanted to be a biologist from an early age, Dr. Grove has always understood the importance of exposing young future investigators to the world of science through fun, interactive, and educational experiences.

This program has been funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant since its inception in the Fall of 2011.  Beginning Fall 2014, a private donor is now sponsoring the program.

About CSM

About CSM

College of Saint Mary is a Catholic university providing access to education for women in an environment that calls forth potential and fosters leadership.  Consistent with the works, values and aspirations of the Sisters of Mercy, this mission inspires us to: 

  • Academic excellence, scholarship, and lifelong learning;
  • Respect for the dignity of each person;
  • Development of mind, body, and spirit; and
  • Commitment to compassionate service.
     

The CSM Science Outreach Program was created to bring our students' passion for science to the elementary school student.  In an age when science and careers in science, technology, engineering and math stay at the forefront of so many facets of society and progress, our aim is to get young students excited about science so that they can be a part of the careful and rational betterment of world and society.  We know that funding for elementary education is often insufficient and always competitive, so we aim to provide an alternative path for elementary students to get exposure to scientific equipment and methods that they might not otherwise encounter until later in their education (when many students have already made up their minds that they "don't like science".)

We strive to assist elementary science educators in providing the best possible science education to students.  We hope to excite students with new and different hands-on activities with science at their heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does this program exist? 

The science students and faculty at CSM know how important science is in our modern world. Because we were kids once, we also know that sometimes science can seem boring, dull or pointless to children. By creating and providing hands-on activities, we want to bring some of the excitement we have for science to the next generation of scientists!

What is the program like? 

Our students have put together a number of great "activity packages" which can be provided at multiple grade levels. We have activities for measuring mass, volume and temperature, weather, light and sound, health and nutrition, states of matter, and Earth and its inhabitants, as well as other activities. We will be adding new activities all the time. For more information see the "Activities" link below.

How does the program work? 

Simply choose the activity you would like us to present to your students and give us a two-week time window with available times. We will then contact you with a proposed time. After that CSM science students show up, set up, and provide your students with a fun, educational and unique activity. For more details, go to scheduling.