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JES is Crazy with Science

Photo of students in Science Lab H.T. Jones Elementary (JES) students have a new class to look forward to every week as the school has introduced a new subject into their Specials rotation, Science Lab. Specials are classes outside of regular classroom studies such as physical education, art, and music.

“The vision behind creating the lab was for it to be an extension of the classroom,” Principal Ashley Kinney said. “This will reinforce what students learn each week in class.”

JES decided to begin using its lab room to the fullest potential while adding another layer of what teachers are doing in class. Every classroom from kindergarten to fifth-grade visits the lab once a week, equaling 30 different classes each week. The lab schedule falls a week behind the classrooms, allowing time for students to learn about the topic in their core class before entering the lab. Science Lab is led by Paula Williams, who joined the JES team in 2001.

“It’s like I’ve been working towards this job for the past 20 years,” Williams said. “I’ve always loved science and I’m incredibly honored to be asked to do this.”

While it supports what students learn in core classes, Science Lab is its own class and follows a curriculum by STEMscopes. Williams’ goal is to have students learn through hands-on experience but also have fun along the way. The classroom’s three main rules are to be respectful, kind, and have fun. In the first weeks of school, students were introduced to proper lab procedures and safety rules. They also met the class mascots, a betta fish named Cloud, and three red-eared slider turtles named Pee Wee, b.t., and Scooter.

“I want to expose the students to as much as possible,” Williams said. “I don’t want them just thinking in class but to use their knowledge when they are outside in the world.”