P5 and P6 students and teachers in Bermuda’s public schools can now take part in a new educational program focused on weather, the water cycle, and a variety of math skills, such as graphing and using data to make predictions. The hands-on lessons, part of BIOS’s Curriculum Enrichment Program, debuted this October at Somerset Primary School and are aligned with standards based grading proficiency scales to fully support classroom instruction. Mayah Williams-Johnson, a P6 student in Lisa Siese's class at Somerset Primary, used LEGO blocks to construct bar graphs of precipitation data during one of the interactive activities.
On October 12 and 13, BIOS debuted a new classroom education module focused on the water cycle and weather in Lisa Siese’s P6 classroom at Somerset Primary. The module is part of the Institute’s Curriculum Enrichment Program, which is designed to enhance science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) instruction in local classrooms by bringing immersive experiences and hands-on activities to teachers and students.
“These lessons were designed to re-enforce the knowledge that students built in P5 when they learned about the water cycle and are aligned to P6 proficiency scales involving making predictions, extracting data, and rounding numbers,” said Kaitlin Noyes, director of education and community engagement at BIOS. “BIOS is grateful to the Bank of Bermuda Foundation for its support of the Curriculum Enrichment Program, which helps make these experiences in Bermuda’s public schools possible.”
Over the course of two days, BIOS educator Kyla Smith introduced the class’s 13 students to a variety of topics related to the water cycle and weather. She focused on interactive, inquiry-based activities that allowed students to combine math and science skills, such as rounding recorded levels of precipitation to two decimal places, building bar graphs out of LEGO blocks, and making predictions based on available weather and climate data.
Isaac Contreras, another student in Lisa Siese’s P6 class at Somerset Primary School, works on combining his science and math skills to make bar graphs that correctly display precipitation data rounded to two decimal places.
“This class not only provides students with a general understanding of weather and climate, but it’s a great way to get them to start asking questions and to introduce them to the scientific method,” Smith said.
“I was thrilled to hear that the BIOS team was interested in developing some activities and lessons around the topic of weather,” Siese said. “It's so exciting for the kids to meet a real scientist and Kyla communicated not only her extensive knowledge of the content, but her interest and excitement about it.”
At the end of the module, the class was able to borrow an Ambient weather station from BIOS so the students can continue tracking weather and making predictions for the next month. The portable weather station is equipped with sensors that measure wind speed and direction, rainfall, humidity, and temperature, as well as a digital screen that displays these data in real time. Similar data can be accessed online from the Bermuda Weather Service, allowing the students to compare the two sets of data. BIOS was able to purchase two of these weather stations, which means that schools participating in the module will be able to use these instrument packages as part of their curriculum.
“I really enjoyed setting up the anemometer because it was exciting to see what it does,” said Mayah Williams-Johnson, one of Siese’s students. “I also enjoyed learning about how water expands when it is frozen and seeing the different kinds of clouds was very cool."