Danielle Garrett, associate professor of chemistry education, recently presented on The Building of a University and Elementary School Science Partnership: An Exploration of Light, Color and the Relationship among Energy, Wavelength and Frequency – A Fourth-Grade Challenge at the 2021 virtual Gulf-South Summit conference. Not only did Garrett’s presentation describe her ongoing work with 4th grade students at Donelson Christian Academy (DCA) through the American Chemical Society (ACS) Science Coaches Program, it also detailed the growth of a long-lasting symbiotic relationship and support network between Belmont University and DCA – beyond the Science Coaches Program.
Towards the end of the presentation, Garrett discussed her personal goals for participating in this program – which she pointed out did not involve chemistry. “What I am aiming to produce is students who have curiosity, students who want to question, students who don’t go forward saying ‘I can’t do science – I’m not a science person.’ They may not like science; they may not want to be a scientist, but there’s no such thing as a science person and a non-science person,” she explained. “If we are critical thinkers, if we can analyze, if we can communicate, we are all scientists.”
Garrett later went on to say, “I want them to be informed. I want them – as they go into their middle school science, as they go into high school, as they go into college – to be informed active members of their community in their society, and if it’s in science – wonderful! But even if they’re not in science, we should still all be able to think and question and reasonably discuss scientific ideas and things that are impacting us as a local community, as a national community and as a global community – and that is what I want out of this program.”
The full presentation can be accessed via YouTube.