District 196 students participate in Science Museum field trips, assemblies

More than 4,000 second- and fourth-grade students from 23 elementary schools in Dakota County are learning to think like scientists and engineers this year through assemblies and field trips provided by the Science Museum of Minnesota. This opportunity is part of the Experience Science program, a partnership between the Science Museum and Flint Hills Resources that began in 1998.

The 2016-17 Experience Science program began in November and runs through February. It fulfills academic standards in science and engineering in a way that is fun for students.

During the Experience Science assemblies, instructors from the Science Museum use interactive models to show examples of real-world engineering problems and help students think through the process of solving them. Schools can choose between assemblies about dinosaurs, water or engineering.

On field trips to the Science Museum, students learn how to combine math, science, creativity and curiosity to effectively think like engineers. Students are challenged to consider how museum exhibits were made, what materials were used to build them, and what problems were likely solved along the way.

“As a high-tech manufacturer, Flint Hills Resources wants to help create exciting opportunities for future scientists and engineers,” said Heather Rein, director of community affairs at Flint Hills Resources. “The Science Museum is incredible at engaging kids, and we are thankful to partner with them to present the Experience Science program to provide our young neighbors with opportunities to explore STEM topics.”

Elementary schools participating in the 2016-17 Experience Science program include: Cedar Park STEM, Diamond Path, Greenleaf, Southview and Westview (Apple Valley); Echo Park (Burnsville); Deerwood, Northview, Oak Ridge, Pinewood, Red Pine, Thomas Lake and Woodland (Eagan); Christa McAuliffe, Kennedy and Pinecrest (Hastings); Hilltop and Pine Bend (Inver Grove Heights); Rosemount, Shannon Park, and St. Joseph’s Catholic School (Rosemount); Kaposia Education Center (South St. Paul); and St. John the Baptist School (Vermillion).