TROY — Students in grades K-5 at Cookson Elementary School engaged in energy science in fun and exciting ways during a day-long visit from COSI on Wheels on Tuesday.
This marks the third year that Cookson has hosted COSI on Wheels, enlisting the assistance of approximately 15 student volunteers from Troy High School and five or six PTO members.
Each grade, starting with kindergarten, entered the gymnasium one at a time throughout the day to engage in the program.
“We do this through a grant from the Troy Foundation,” Cookson science and social studies teacher Shelley Stewart said. “They approve us, and allow COSI to come out every year. It’s very interactive and hands-on, so it really sticks in their brain.”
“The idea of ‘COSI on Wheels’ is to bring out science-themed days to elementary and middle schools,” COSI educator Matt Webber said. “Today’s theme is ‘energy.’ We have a big, exciting assembly in the morning where we talk all about different kinds of energy, and then the kids get to come in and experience all these hands-on stations that we offer.
Stations included topics such as friction, conductors, magnetism, kinetic energy, potential energy, and electricity, allowing students to build such devices as circuits and chain reaction machines.
Webber stressed the value of the program, in “just allowing kids to do a lot of things with their own hands, in order for them to understand how it relates to them and the world around them.”
Stewart emphasized that COSI on Wheels is beneficial to the curriculum at Cookson, as the program does an efficient job at hitting the standards all students will have to know for state testing in fifth grade.
“There’s three topics that I focus on, which I feel the state testing is the strongest in,” Stewart said. “Those are astronomy, the life cycle and food chains, and energy, which is the COSI program we’re doing this year. It’s a hard one for kids to grasp, and hard to offer those resources, but COSI does it in such a great way. The kids get really involved in being able to test and maneuver all the different stations.”
“This program is fairly new, and was only developed at COSI in the last few years,” Webber said. “I have a science background, so I love teaching science to kids. My favorite part of it is just how excited they get when they see something cool and new for the first time. They’re always so excited to learn.”
For more information, visit www.cosi.org.