State Rep. Ryan Aument visited Pequea Elementary School Thursday to see first-hand how students in Kevin Bower’s sixth-grade class are using an innovative online program to learn science.
Called MySciLife, the program utilizes a digital world where students develop identities as scientific concepts, objects or people. While studying weather, for instance, the pupils adopted the identities of wind, rain, humidity and other concepts. They research their identities and respond to prompts based on their scientific properties/discoveries.
Using an education social network monitored by teachers, students share information with pupils at other schools thousands of miles away. They can critique each other’s online representations and defend their characterizations by citing evidence, data and research, learning from each other.
During Aument’s visit, the Pequea students had adopted the identities of inventors, including Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and Robert Fulton, and were creating online games based on their identities to be shared with other students on the MySciLife network.
Aument spent more than an hour with the class, talking with Bower and his sixth-graders, along with MySciLife program manager Donna Benson.
It “was a great opportunity for me to again witness how technology in the classroom empowers teachers and students by customizing the learning experience to each student’s needs,” said the state lawmaker. Witnessing a successful hybrid learning program will “inspire me to continue advocating for policies that encourage this type of individualized learning in classrooms statewide,” he said.
Aument is a member of the House Education Committee and has proposed legislation to establish a Hybrid Learning Entrepreneurial Fund to promote initiatives like MySciLife.