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High Quality Education at High Altitude


Jen Szegda Mountains

Sadly, Sunday was my last day at Key Issues Institute. Alcoa Foundation sponsored my trip from Michigan to the town of Silverthorne, Colorado. I spent a week at high attitude learning about high quality lessons that I can use in my classroom. The strategies and activities that I learned about at Key Issues will enhance my existing sixth grade science curriculum.Jen Szegda Summit

3-D Contour MapFinding latitude and longitude on a map can be confusing for sixth graders, but this fall I will teach it using a geo caching activity that my students will never forget. By the time students get to sixth grade, they are tired of bar graphs, but this year they will learn to create a 3-D bar graph to share their data. Mapping will be more fun when my students build their own contour maps. Instead of reading about balance in an ecosystem and population growth and decline, students will become deer searching for water, food, and shelter. They will then engage in an interactive game to model real life interactions within an ecosystem. Students can read about water quality and then they can go outside and test a local stream for physical, chemical, and biological health.

These are just a few of the many new strategies and activities that I learned at Keystone Science School's Key Issues Institute that fit my curriculum in Michigan. I am thrilled that Alcoa Foundation sent me to high altitude to help me elevate the quality of my teaching.