Imagine learning inside a barn alongside four-legged animals and studying how the food you eat is grown and sourced. That will soon be a reality for second grade students in Hamilton Southeastern Schools.
Through a partnership with the City of Fishers, HSE Schools is launching two additional Teacher-in-Residence programs. Farm 2 Table will focus on plant and animal adaptation, weather and erosion, and the history of farming at the Fishers AgriPark.
“It is a great opportunity for the kids to see that learning happens all around them and not just in the four walls of their classrooms. It allows them to transfer what they have already learned, while simultaneously learning new content,” said AgriPark Teacher-in-Residence Brooke Daniel. “I couldn’t be more excited for them to experience some of the same amazing learning experiences that I have had while being around farming my whole life.”
The second Teacher-in-Residence program will be held at the Fishers Maker Playground located inside Hub & Spoke. During the school year, students in fifth grade will spend time with resident teacher Jennifer Suskovich. Suskovich will lead students in various hands-on projects in an effort to develop a better understanding of STEM.
“Students will embark on an experience that encourages the use of creativity and problem-solving necessary for the maker mindset. We will begin by touring the facility and nearby trails making observations and inquiries regarding these spaces and having the opportunity to tinker with tools, says Suskovich. “The goal is for HSE fifth grades to be given the agency to discover a question whether it be scientific, personal or artistic and follow it through the learning process.”
Both educators have a high-level of expertise and passion for teaching in their unique assignments. These community-based learning experiences have many benefits for students and classroom teachers, alike. Daniel and Suskovich both agree students will likely experience a deeper sense of learning from being exposed directly to the academic standards in a hands-on and engaging manner.
The experiences will often inspire classroom teachers in developing additional instructional methods that mimic the on-site experience.
HSE Schools first partnered with the City of Fishers in 2016 to launch Nature First, aimed at working with first graders at Ritchey Woods. In 2018, a teacher-in-residence was placed at Conner Prairie to bring Indiana history and various STEM concepts to life for fourth graders.
The success of these programs has since led to a long-term commitment by HSE and the City of Fishers to expand the reach of these immersive learning opportunities for every student kindergarten through sixth grade.
”We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our great partnership with HSE Schools and leverage City resources to bring hands-on learning to students,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “This is just the beginning when it comes to opportunities our community can provide, in collaboration, to bring unique, real-world educational experiences to our youngest residents.”
Classes are currently being scheduled to visit the teachers-in-residence at least one-day during the school year.
The first day of the 2021-22 school year is August 4.