Beacon Middle School students make science connections

November 2, 2015

School is a great place to make connections. That’s what’s happening in Beacon Middle School’s sixth-grade science class. Across the curriculum, students are making connections in classes to help them comprehend the material by relating it to real-life situations.

For weeks, students have been studying about how valid experiments are designed using the scientific method. The study was based on a disease in America during the 1930s caused by a poor diet that lacked nutrients, specifically niacin. One of the articles, Life-Changing Fish, from Scholastic Science World dated Sept. 21, focused on another poor diet with an iron deficiency in Cambodia.

This sparked the interest of student John Southerst, who said, “The reason I was interested is because someone in my family doesn’t get enough iron, and also my dad and I both love cooking.”

The article told about a piece of iron in the shape of a fish that could be dropped into food while cooking. Southerst decided to take his connection one step further by purchasing the iron fish online and sharing it with the students in class.  Southerst said, “My dad and I are planning to use the fish in three dinners each week." His father is considering selling the iron fish at his store, Puzzles and Lewes Gourmet shop in Lewes.

For another student, Owen Smith, the connection was easy to make. The current event article Head to Head, from Scholastic Science World dated Oct. 12, discussed how a teen athlete researched how to identify concussions quickly. This came about as a result of a concussion his teammate suffered in middle school. He wanted to find a way to detect them early. As Smith was studying this current event, he was hit while playing community football and started to feel dizzy.

He said, “I got hit playing football, but didn’t go to the doctor at first. Then I went back to practice a couple of days later and ended up getting hit pretty hard. I went to the emergency room and the doctors inferred that I’d had a mild concussion from the symptoms."

While reading the article and working on the assignment, Smith made a firsthand connection because he remembered the article telling how one NFL linebacker had a lot of concussions after his first season, so he retired. Smith won’t be retiring, but is looking forward to his next visit so the doctor can clear him to return to the gridiron.

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